The Benefits of Regional Integration
European Union (EU) is one of the integration bloc found in France. EU is a profitable and political union with many states in Europe. EU has developed a single market with rules and regulations that govern all the member states.
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According to Gibb and Michalak (2000), the EU in France has developed a single market that allows free movement of goods, services, people, and capital, where it maintains common policies on trade. Traders and firms are able to move to other countries for trade. EU is also represented by the United Nations – other countries in the EU in Europe include Italy and Belgium.
In France, the regional integration between the country and others has benefited the traders, especially in agriculture sector because there is increase in production and high quality of life for farmers. They have provided stable markets and affordable prices because of price controls for consumers.
Trade between France and other countries in Europe that are in the regional trade agreement has improved education. EU has supported programmes such as the Erasmus programme, a university syllabus which started in 1980’s. This programme has supported many university students. They encourage knowledge and learning in education in other countries while offering equal degrees with the same standards.
The EU in Europe has promoted use and knowledge of many languages. When France citizens trade in other countries, they are able to engage in other languages other than their mother tongue. Different cultures have been integrated that allows movement of workers within these European countries which are members of the European Union.
Therefore, as a member of EU, France has a wider selection of goods and services from different nations at lower tariffs. According to Bliss (2004), integrations allow small economies to collect their resources and enables local firms to get into larger markets. This has increased the economic growth in France and has brought additional trade, improved quality of goods, and more imports and exports. Integration has also made good international relations because of the integrated market while also promoting good channels of communication.
The Negative Aspects of Regional Integration
Although regional integration’s aim is to improve the economic status of the countries in the EU union, not all the participants achieve the same benefits. Problems arise especially when determining whether participants have equal say according to the set policies. Some of the states appear to be more powerful than others.
Barnard (2007) argues that economic disruptions in some of the countries cause unequal distribution of resources with some states becoming the net recipients and others becoming the net lenders. Some of the countries may not benefit because more focus is on the affected countries. France and other big states often complain about the smaller states claiming that they do not give same share of the European Union. Also smaller states have complained that they are ignored because of their economic status.
Additionally, workers within the integration bloc face lower pays from their employers who threaten to export jobs. Companies in those integrated regions can loose their competitive advantage, especially when companies build better factories in lower-rated countries, making them as productive as those at their home country. When political crises arise, it is hard for the managing board to resolve those conflicts and this also includes immigration management and crossing of the borders.
Furthermore, regional integration is deemed to weaken the sovereignty of a country. This is because when countries like France entered the EU, they agreed to abide by the rules and procedures governing the body, but some EU rules are in opposition to some member countries’ policies.
The stiff polices restrict member countries from engaging in substantial economic development without consulting other countries in the system. Additionally, France and Germany are the most powerful members are the most powerful members in the EU with regards to security. This implies that the powerful nations have greater geo-political authority than small countries; therefore, the national integration is biased.
Bliss, C.J. (2004). Economic Theory and Policy for Trading Blocks and Integration. Manchester: Manchester University press.
Barnard, C. (2007). The Substantive Law of the EU. The Four Freedoms (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.
Gibb, R. & Michalak, W. (2000). Continental Trading Blocs: The Growth of Regionalism in the World Economy. New York: John Wiley & Sons.