The shaping of regional blocks arising as of economic integration is both a process and a state.
As for process is concerned several purely economic stages may be identified: a) economic cooperation, b) preferential duty areas, c) free trade areas, d) customs union, e) common markets, and f) economic and monetary unions. When the above stages are furthered into the social and political scope, economic unions evolve to total unions or complete integrations.
The origin of the aforementioned forms of cooperation and integration can be found in inter-governmental and supra-national processes which have been evolving in Europe since World War II, although in the Americas, Asia, and Africa, this process can also be appreciated, specifically based on the economic complementation principle (production and consumption). Goods and services are exchanged through this process among several countries, for duties and other trading barriers are eliminated with regard to imports and exports. The purpose of this process is to increase productivity in connection with scale operations, thus broadening the existing consumption markets, with the ultimate intent of creating wealth and generating new sources of employment.
Besides the advantages posed by the scale economies, enlarged markets and the creation of wealth, employment and consumption, the integration of regional value chains, the low price homologation promoting consumption and the building of common learning platforms, are other significant benefits of integration.
However, economic integration is not a panacea, and there is a risk for less developed countries to suffer compensation processes in their discrepancies when forced to integrate to bigger or more stable economies. Such is the case when tax relief installment formulas are not set forth as well as structural or compensation funds, temporary benefits or safeguards or otherwise customs preferential systems, allowing the industry sector of less developed countries to be given the opportunity to compete in equal circumstances with their counterparts in more developed countries.
Nevertheless, if integration processes are developed correctly through a long-term vision plan, once discrepancies of underdevelopment economies are compensated, these economies tend to be less dependent and vulnerable with regard to external developed economies. The increase in wealth allows for more capital goods coming from other developed economies. (Text is taken from Juan Pablo Pampillo Baliño. La Integración Americana Expresión de un Nuevo Derecho Global. Mexico. Porrua 2012).
Importance of Regional Integration and of the new Community and Common Law
Both Regional Integration and the new Community or Integration Law -together with the newest Common Law- stand for one of the most important subjects for Jurisprudence in our time, especially for American lawyers.
They are a new paradigm that is to articulate in the academic field the different law disciplines, and in the practical arena the way in which law is operated affecting regulations and adjudication.
In the first place, the importance of legal integration arises out of economic, political, social and cultural processes of ‘globalization’ giving birth to regional blocks.
The shaping of regional blocks, however, is not only the response to the globalization phenomenon, but to the double ‘glocalization’ process (globalization + localisms) as described by Ulrich Beck.
Localisms in themselves stand for the re-birth of intra-state communities –historic regions, autonomous communities, indigenous peoples, tribes, cities, etcetera- which were absorbed by the Modern State model. In fact, as a consequence of the current crisis of Modern States, said communities have found more self-affirmation spaces within the globalization scope by vindicating not only their local markets but their culture, political organization and legal autonomy.
Integration Law is currently articulating most academic disciplines and bodies of law in Europe, where it is increasingly common to find textbooks on Community Law, rather than on the national law of the different countries. Public, Private and Social Community Law are thus becoming a new co-operative and harmonizing law, aimed to articulate legal multilevel pluralism, and to re-structure the study of law in the following years.
The use of frame laws and the leading role the judiciary are shaping a new flexible community and casuistry law, in which importance and significance of construal and legal sciences have been retrieved.
As for the New Common Law, several European treaty writers have undertaken the subject as the main priority over the past thirty years -emphasizing the expression and even some methodological aspects of the late European Middle Ages ‘ius commune’- developing a law resulting from the dialogue between the ‘iura propia’ (i.e. supra-national, international, regional, state and local laws of the societies integrating the European Union) and a ‘common law’ which is the result of their coincidences.
Such common law has been promoted in part by scholars, who have worked in a number of projects with different purpose and methodology, but with the common aim of finding the common principles of a new European Law that may support, assist and complement the Integration Law of the European Union. These projects may be in the form of acquis doctrinal for university studies, and as an orientation tool for the academic and legal praxis of professors, lawyers and legislators by pinpointing the existing common tendency with regard to the different national legislation.
The importance of this new common law lies within the following: a) its scholarly origin, b) its foremost context, c) its comparison method (synchronic and diachronic), and d) its influence on education and legal culture. (Text taken from Juan Pablo Pampillo Baliño. La Integración Americana Expresión de un Nuevo Derecho Global Mexico. Porrua 2012).