Regional Economic Integration: The EU Case

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Bahloul, Yazid
This paper examines regional economic integration in the global market. In fact, it specifically looks at the regional economic integration appearance as a bloc in the European region and its advantages and disadvantages (on the region) as a whole. Also, through this presentation, the different levels of regional integration and the distribution of trade share around the globe will be displayed. Equally, it will shed light on the major regional blocs around the world and will focus on the main differences in terms of political structures between NAFTA and the EU. Since the World War II, regional economic blocs have become an essential political remedy that gathers countries and nations. Essentially, the economic regional blocs aim to reduce the obstacles between nations that share the same geographic border and to ease the circulations of goods and services. In fact, the regional trading blocs differ in terms of political structure and economic goals, but the trading goods and services within the different regions around the globe wouldn't be possible without establishing unified political and economic units. For example, the European Union (EU) as other regional blocs gather different countries that share the same geographical borders but differ in cultures, languages, and political systems. Actually, the differences and similarities between the various political structures and economic goals are due to many factors such as history, culture, and the economic growth in each country. However, the impacts of the regional trading blocs have some disadvantages that have negative impacts on the local economies of the regional blocs and on the global economy as well. By analyzing the benefits and inconveniences of the regional integrations, it is concluded that the economic regional trading blocs create an atmosphere of competition between the different regional blocs around the world and create productivity and quality. In fact, the regulations and policies set by the nations integrated in the different regional blocs take part in the growth of the global economy; whether directly or indirectly. For example, the high level of the European trade among the EU increases the global GDP and attracts the other regional blocs such as NAFTA to invest in the European market and vice versa. However, the global trade policies set by the World Trade Organization (WTO) might be slowed or even contradicted by the implications of some regional regulations and policies that usually favorite the regional economic growth instead of the global development. In spite of the collisions of global and regional economic structures, it is essential to recognize that the regional integration blocs help improving the regional economies and attract the global interactions between the various regional blocs in terms of economic interchange of goods and people, and finally to prove that the separate regional blocs could be interconnected to one another in order to make the global economy more consistent and better structured.