Macro-Regions and Micro-Regional Inequalities: The European Union and the Cohesion Funds

Item Reference: 
Publication Date: 
Publication Place: 
Publication Language: 
UNU Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies
Series Title: 
UNU-CRIS Working Papers
Working Paper Type: 

The grouping of countries into a bloc, macro-regions, is a frequently used strategy for countries to increase their political power and enhance the competitive position of their organizations in the context of globalization (Breslin, Higgott and Rosamond, 2002). The formation of macro-regions is not a new phenomenon. The Deutsche Zollverein established the economic basis for the unification of Germany; the Customs Union of Moldavia-Wallachia led to the creation of Romania; and the Swiss Confederation achieved the economic and political unification of the Swiss Cantons. Since the Second World War there has been a progressive growth in macro-region initiatives. A trend that intensified in the 1990‟s and has continued into the 21st century, these initiatives are called the New Regionalism. There are currently more than 200 preferential trade agreements in force and almost all World Trade Organization (WTO) members are party to a macro-regional agreement (World Bank, 2005).

Globalization, Macro-regions, New Regionalism, Trade agreements