Drivers of Regional Integration: Value Chains Investment and New-Forms of Cooperation

"As for the regional integration concept, we rather stress three important points that must add to the new visions, whatever they might be. First, (geo)political motivations aside, the number and variety of driving forces for the integration has significantly increased. More specifically, the standard trade imperative does not need any more to be the key motive for the process. Secondly, the linear sequence epitomised by the European experiment has been blown out; the logical chain – composed of a free trade agreement, then a customs union, next a common market for goods, services, labour and capital, and then very likely a common currency – is over. Or rather, it is one among several different sequences of steps conducive to integration. Thirdly, the classical dilemma between sovereignty and supra-nationality, the latter turned concrete in specific institutions and rules for the juridical persona of the integration, has proved insoluble. As the ideal midpoint is a fiction, the nowadays trend reverts the one predominant in the previous century, greater care being demanded at any further attempt of pushing for more supranationality."