Annual Survey of International & Comparative Law


Contemporary analysts tend to characterize economic integration and the consolidation of economic blocs as either as a solution or a threat, depending on their geographical position and intellectual perspective. Whether a commentator is located within or outside of a particular bloc, there is a common tendency to identify the negative or positive consequences of integration in that geographic region, both for the countries immediately involved, as well as for world trade as a whole. My overarching perspective is that the MERCOSUR integration process does not suffer from conceptual vices. However, it contains gaps and faces obstacles that stem from implementation flaws. The MERCOSUR integration process is and remains valid. It does not suffer from a priori conceptual vices, but suffers instead from the gaps and obstacles that result from flawed implementation. The result is not only ineffective, but also counterproductive, insofar as it substitutes this project for others, even less clearly configured. Taking a long-term view, integration is closely related to the adoption of models that are stable and viable in the long run, but also ensure that national interests are adequately promoted and protected.