General Issues and Regional Groups
Elgar original reference
Edited by Miroslav N. Jovanović
Economic integration at the international level used to be a European specificity; this explains why a European Institute has a major interest in supporting a handbook on international economic integration. Alongside the development of theories about international economic integration initiated in the 1950s, the European Economic Community, launched in 1957 among six (Western) European States, very soon appeared as the practical exercise designed for implementing such theoretical concepts. Thus economic integration is a strong element at the heart of European studies. The Geneva University European Institute aims at understanding the great transformation of Europe, and not only the development of the European Community (EC) or the European Union (EU), while acknowledging the pre-eminence of the integration process driven by the EU in this evolution. European integration, even though initially based on the promotion of economic integration, also covers a much wider scope of human activities, spilling over into legal, political and even societal issues. This is why, since 1963, European studies at the University of Geneva have been pooled in an interdisciplinary institute; economic integration – even though a fundamental and necessary parameter of wider integration – is thus, and remains, closely interlinked with other societal factors. Interdisciplinary studies, however, in no way prevent comprehensive disciplinary efforts, such as the present Handbook. International economic integration, for its part, changed gear in the late twentieth century, after the failure of the socialist model. In Europe naturally, where socialist countries of the Central and Eastern part of the Continent have been called to join...