M-RCBG Associate Working Paper No. 38

Negotiating and adapting optimal integration: Transnational economic integration and the public management challenge

Ole Gunnar Austvik



The dominating neoliberal international economic system of the past few decades pressures countries to become more familiar in a number of economic, social and political affairs (Friedman, 1999; Knill, 2005; Rodrik, 2000, pp. 181-2). This is true within the World Trade Center Organization (WTO) on the global level, and even more in the European Union (EU) on the regional level. In the WTO, several negotiation rounds after WWII have deepened integration between nation-states through tariff reductions between most countries, with some supranational authority given to the organization after 1994. In the EU, the processes are much more far-reaching, as a number of directives and regulations are issued that harmonizes policies across Member States. In some cases policies are common, such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and a common trade policy established in 1958. Later, the introduction of the Single Market in 1993 and the euro in 1999/2002 represent the most de jure comprehensive harmonization of rules, regulations and practices, and transfer of power from the nation-states to EU policy makers and institutions. This is unique in an international economic integration context. 

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