Was European Integration Nice While it Lasted?
36 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2013
Date Written: February 28, 2013
The principal goal of integration in Europe has always been the safeguarding of peace through economic integration. The European Union (EU) has overseen splendid economic achievements. A sign of that great success has been the EU's continuous enlargement. The eurozone is the crown jewel in the process of European integration, but it is also its weakest component. The EU's most glorious attribute, the eurozone is now synonymous with harsh austerity measures, protests and no prospect of any remarkable growth in many countries for years to come. Obvious rifts between the EU's countries are shaking its foundations like never before. The EU passed through many crises (approximately one a decade), and it always exited stronger. This time may be different. The EU may weather the storm. It may, however, end up as a big and important group, but not a very happy family of nations. The first decade of the 21st century was ‘lost’ for the EU, while the second decade may prove to be the epoch of its diminished global relevance. This is a pity as Europe has taken the reins in many global issues (e.g. environment). Compared with Europe, integration in Southeast Asia started from a very different point and at a different time. Nonetheless, the region provides certain context-specific lessons for the integration path. Given the circumstances in Southeast Asia, it is suggested that the region integrate but follow a light institutional model coupled with simple rules of origin to support efficient supply chains and production networks.
Keywords: Germany, France, eurozone, Russia, break-up, elite, currency, spontaneous, bottom-up integration, Southeast Asia
JEL Classification: F15, F53, F55
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation