Goals of Regional Integration: a Modern Understanding

 
PIIS013122270017803-4-1
DOI10.20542/0131-2227-2021-65-10-5-14
Publication type Article
Status Published
Authors
Affiliation: Institute of Europe, RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameMirovaia ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia
EditionVolume 65 Issue 10
Pages5-14
Abstract

To date, an extensive scholarly literature on regional integration has paid little attention to the question of its goals. However, it is fundamental for deeper understanding the nature of the phenomena and for the decision-making process at the national, regional and international levels. The objective of this article is to reveal declared and de facto pursued goals of regional integration, and to arrange them into a coherent system. To accomplish this task this paper first provides an overview of official goals stated in the founding agreements of various regional groups, formed by developed and developing countries in Europe, Asia and Americas. Then the question of goals is explored through the lenses of the key theories of regional economic integration and their practical application. Later a similar exercise is carried out in the context of political integration theories. Finally, based on the comprehensive analysis of official declarations, major theories of regional integration and practical developments in various regions and policy fields this paper categorizes main goals of regional integration into four groups compiled along two axes: internal and external, positive and negative. They form a matrix, which endows researchers with new optics. Further exploration of different types of integration goals, especially negatively oriented ones, has a potential to expand the research program of integration studies. They may also shed light on the debate over why regional blocks of developing countries stall at the level of free trade zones or why the creation of the European monetary union did not help the EU to move to the true political union.

Keywordsregional integration, integration theory, EAEU, MERCOSUR, ASEAN, USMCA, RCEP, European Union
Received27.12.2021
Publication date13.12.2021
Number of characters34741
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1 Каждое интеграционное объединение официально декларирует свои главные цели. Договор о Евразийском экономическом сообществе предусматривает создание условий для стабильного экономического развития ради повышения уровня жизни населения; движение к единому рынку; модернизацию и рост конкурентоспособности национальных хозяйств [1]. Стратегические направления евразийской интеграции до 2025 г. отвечают “целям устойчивого и инклюзивного экономического развития каждого государства-члена” [2].
2 Ассоциация стран Юго-Восточной Азии (АСЕАН) преследует такие цели, как обеспечение мира и безопасности, создание единого рынка, укрепление демократии, сохранение природных ресурсов и культурного наследия региона, поддержание высокого уровня жизни народов, развитие региональной идентичности. Кроме того, Ассоциация берет на себя центральную роль в отношениях с внешними партнерами [3]. В 2020 г. страны АСЕАН вместе с Китаем, Индией, Японией, Республикой Корея, Австралией и Новой Зеландией подписали соглашение о Всеобъемлющем региональном экономическом партнерстве (ВРЭП). Его официальные цели: расширение региональных торговых и инвестиционных потоков, а также всестороннее содействие экономическому развитию [4, ст. 1.3].
3 Заявленные цели Общего рынка стран Южного конуса (МЕРКОСУР) – создание таможенного союза, согласование различных направлений экономической политики государств-членов, в том числе для поддержания нормальных условий конкуренции [5]. Сообщество развития Юга Африки (САДК) действует в интересах устойчивого и справедливого роста; борьбы с бедностью и повышения уровня жизни; защиты мира и демократии; устойчивого использования природных ресурсов; продвижения общих ценностей; укрепления исторической, социальной и культурной близости народов региона [6].
4 Европейский союз относит к своим главным целям мир, общие ценности и благосостояние народов. Среди его основных задач значатся устойчивое развитие, содействие социальному и научно-техническому прогрессу, продвижение своих интересов в отношениях с внешним миром. [7, ст. 3]. Вступившее в силу в 2020 г. новое соглашение между США, Мексикой и Канадой (ЮСМКА) заменило подписанное в 1994 г. соглашение о Североамериканской зоне свободной торговли (НАФТА). Его цель – укреплять “давнюю дружбу” между участвующими странами, развивать их тесное экономическое сотрудничество [8].
5 Спектр декларируемых интеграционными группировками целей охватывает экономику, политику, безопасность, культурное и гуманитарное сотрудничество, науку и технологии, экологию и устойчивое развитие. Везде присутствует как внутреннее, так и внешнее измерение интеграции: в одном случае речь идет об отношениях между участвующими странами, а в другом – об отношениях с третьими странами и международными организациями. Официальные заявления – не единственный источник информации о целях интеграции. Нельзя исключить существования реально преследуемых, но не артикулируемых целей.

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