Asia – Eurasia
Eurasian Economic Integration: Between Absolute and Relative Benefits
A collision of interests is always part of any integration process, growing more dramatic and multidimensional the more comprehensive an integration endeavour becomes. This is particularly clear from the record of the most advanced integration project in history, the European Union, which saw periods of ‘eurosclerosis’, direct sabotage by member countries (e.g. a six-month boycott of the European Commission in 1965–1966 by France), and the failures of the constitutional referendum in the Netherlands and France in May 2005. The main fork in the road for Eurasian integration today is the lack of convenient ‘integration scales’: a deeper integration implies more heated conflicts, and it becomes more difficult to gauge the effects of integration decision-making. However, the main advantage of the existing situation is that it is natural.