Regional Integration: an opportunity to face the crises

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Since the early 1950s the emergence of the European Economic Community, the EEC, and its sequel, the European Union, these organisations have been the dynamic centre of European integration. The EU is now the most advanced model of regional integration globally. It has the largest internal market, the most ambitious common political instruments and the tightest juridical integration.
European integration has gained popular support and political legitimacy from two great promises. It has been seen, first, as a peace project and, secondly, increasingly in later years, as a project for benign, political governance of corporate driven globalisation. Without these impressive ideas European integration could not have been brought to its present level. Both ideas are now in a crisis.
I wish to bring out some lessons for regional integration from the fifty years of building the European Union:

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