Economic Integration And International Relations

We live in a global that throughout the years has overcome many obstacles related to the relationship between countries and their own well- being, creating as a result tighter bonds and the transition from independent nations to interdependent nations that interact for a much better standard of living as well as for the fulfillment with their specific interests. When discussing the economic and commercial prosperity, the strengthening of international relations, the occurrence in the international community and the examples being set by developed countries for his or her degree of regional economical integration, the European Union is the clearest example of the best achievement is these matters. In the state webpage of europe this is quoted: "Peace, prosperity and freedom for its 498 million citizens - in a fairer, safer world. " With this brief definition of what the primary objective of the EU is, where does the European Union stand on monetary integration as a model? Why is monetary integration so important for the world? What's the EU's major effect on international relations and economical integration that serve as lessons for other countries? These questions will be answered or analyzed more thoroughly showing the value of europe as a role style of regional economic integration and international relations for the planet.

The European Union is an economic and political unification between 27 democratic European member states. Its economic integration was based generally on political objectives to prevent any confrontations or conflict after World War II, when restoration was necessary after all of the bloodshed, chaos, uncertainty and economic struggle brought by the war. The EU has overcome the three initial degrees of integration that are Free Trade Area, Customs Union and Common Market. They have advanced now to the amount of Economic Integration and as a result has accomplished "Frontier-free travel and trade, the euro (the single European currency), safer food and a greener environment, better living standards in poorer regions, joint action on crime and terror, cheaper calls, millions of opportunities to study abroad plus much more" (EUROPA, 2010). It is easy to imagine how two countries, like Colombia and america, could have great cooperation between them in order to set-up mutual commercial and living standard benefits with a great level of support, as a result of globalized world and diplomatic relations which have brought them together. But consider twenty- seven countries, with twenty- seven languages, cultures, geographical characteristics, governments, tendencies, histories, and diverse characteristics coming together and sharing so many things as a built-in group, how do this not be a good example to be followed by other countries about the world? Within an interview made to Charles A. Kupchan, Senior Fellow for Europe Studies, at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs on April 8th, 2010, he was asked: "To what extent do you think the European Union is a model for how enemies become friends and what extent could it be so unique so it cannot serve as a model?" he shows that europe is where it is today thanks to "Economics in the surface of geopolitics". With this once more the EU is seen as a postwar response that after it created good political relationships with the other countries led for financial integration to "create its own logic" as mentioned by Kupchan in his answer. This may serve for example of one of the lessons that the European Union leaves all of those other world, that as Kupchan's book is named: "How Enemies Become Friends: The Resources of Stable Peace" (Princeton University Press, 2010) with a bit more of cooperation and the utilization of Diplomacy, any band of countries in Latin America or the rest of the world can have greater benefits as those received by the members of the European Union, solving their dissimilarities and integrating economically.

"The current European style of economical integration, through three essential components: the political commitment, the legal and institutional system, and the group of common actions and policies in favor of integration". (Rueda-Junquera, 2006) The need for economic integration is defined in terms of these three main components. The first, political commitment can be seen as one of the hardest conditions which have to be fulfilled in order for the economical integration theory to bring benefits to a country or several countries. Though it is difficult to accomplish, sometimes it can even be harder to sustain this commitment over time with so many internal and external factors that can come in to the international panorama. The next aspect mentioned by Rueda-Junquera is the legal and institutional system. This means that even though the approach of integration is economic, there needs to be a law system looking over its process. Rueda-Junquera defines the "Community Law" that is characterized by its primacy, and therefore it is applied before any nearby or regional law of the member states, and its own direct applicability. Finally, the 3rd component is the set of common actions and policies in favor of integration. This shows how integration has been shifted in to the financial objectives of the countries. These three elements, along with cooperation in the international community, shape the value of economic integration, as they link progress, economical growth, and general welfare as the motor for the fulfillment of established goals by the several communities of the world.

There are some characteristics about europe that are popular by people across the world. For instance, that its 27 members share the currency called the Euro (), that if you plan to go to any of its member states and you are via Colombia, for example, you desire a Schengen visa to be able to enter, that your passport gets stamped once in the united states where you enter de European Union and there is free movement of folks between member states, amidst others. But what is the EU's major effect on international relations and economic integration that serve as lessons for other countries? We have been told that "The success of the European Union (EU) in reaching a comparatively high level of integration among its constituent member states over the fifty-year period has managed to get an attractive model for regional integration efforts elsewhere on the planet. " (Kirchner, 2006) It really is sure that the EU has become a model for countries that are just starting their integration processes which stand in the first or second degree of regional integration. It serves as a motivational figure for countries looking forward to having such a level of sustainability and development, showing that although many years can pass numerous obstacles and crisis to face, it is possible to always move forth.

Also, "Flows of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) have also been induced by the integration policies of the EU" (Mc Donald. Vertova. Garcia; 2000) This demonstrates having such stability because of the monetary integration policies makes a country more attractive to foreign investors. Just how many countries wish they had an increased FDI in order to have financial and commercial development? Some countries have many natural resources, like the Colombian case, but no technology and knowledge to exploit them. This needs FDI for those needs. The EU shows how this is possible with a good level of economical integration. Another lesson relates to "economic integration brings about significant relocation of production activities". (Mc Donald et al. 2000), this shows countries that sometimes production factors are better if relocated, if you are working with another country it is easier to locate the factors of both parties according to what is best. There is another lesson related to what was just mentioned, which is the fact that europe has achieved many good and positive things as one block, but as a block of countries that work as a team to increase their benefits all together. "Regional financial integration provides incentives for firms to adopt strategies that promote improvements in competitiveness". (Mc Donald et al. 2000) Here is where transnational actors' importance is reflected, as Transnational Companies (TNC's) look for opportunities in the international market, economical integration in the EU can be an example of well functioning firm relations.

Some other lessons that are left by europe is that for example with this year's 2009 monetary crisis born in the United States, many economies round the world where damaged in conditions of trade, as the income of people and their purchasing power dropped significantly, and therefore there is no money for trade. Regarding the European Union, " is a comparatively closed economy, with extra-regional trade accounting for a little proportion of gross domestic product (GDP), which suggests that the crisis was transmitted from the US to Europe generally through financial, not trade, channels. " (Ariff, M. 2009) Therefore, the crisis could experienced worse consequences for Europe, but its monetary integration level made it strong enough to not be affected by it in that harsh way. ". . this multi- level industrial relations system reflects a history of informal and gradual development as well as deliberate institution- building". (Marginson, P. Sisson, P. 2003) with this a lesson of patience can be viewed as. Some countries want and look for quick results on the monetary integration processes, but as each country has its own interests and policies, economic integration escalation takes time. Just look how much time it includes taken Colombia and the united states to sign a FTA. The European Union has grown in its integration in a step-by-step way, and even though it takes a chance to be as high on the degrees of economical integration, is a long term investment that brings very big and positive benefits.

Finally, it can be concluded that the European Union has clearly set a model and example to be accompanied by developing countries that are just starting their regional monetary integration with some neighboring or distant countries. It offers showed the value of financial integration as it combines many elements for the well- being of the peoples and has proven that cooperation is completely necessary to accomplish integration goals. Many lessons have been left by europe for other countries and even though some difficulties may promote themselves on the way, like the conflict between presidents regarding Colombia and Venezuela, it is clear that a well- rooted integration system, a recognised occurrence in the international system, decision making based on honesty, legality and cooperation, and positive international relations lead to the achievement of the sustainable and fulfilling regional financial integration.

"Though richly diverse, EU countries are united in their commitment to peace, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. They seek to uphold these values in Europe and beyond, to make and share prosperity, and to exert their collective influence by acting together on the entire world stage. "

(EUROPA, 2010)

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