European Integration - Realities and Perspectives
European Integration and Globalization
„Ştefan Lupaşcu” European Studies Institute, Iaşi, email@example.com
Abstract: According to many, the term globalization is ab le to explain any phenomenon whatsoever, be it
positive or negative, tha t takes place within the global social system. It seems like a sort of magical formula,
which is to be f ound in the speeches of all sorts of people, be they economists, politicians, businessmen or
sociologists. However this magical formula of globalization has its limitations, since it encompasses a certain
amount of quibbling, beyond which not many can pass. In the context of globalization there appears the
question on its role in the process of European integration. Is European integration a part of this global
process or , quite on the contrary, does it present certain distinctive features, as it moulds itself differently
from the globalization phenomenon? A clear-cut answer seems difficult because of the various aspects
involved. Not only the general phenomenon of globalization, but also the economic integration on European
level is based on the liberalization of markets and on the opening of national economies towards the exterior,
having as direct consequence the intensif ication of trade exchanges. If from a globa l point of view one may
talk of a market fundamentalism in that t he market principles know no boundary, European integration on the
other hand implies not only mark et economy, but also a guided and monitored action of Member States
according to the needs of the whole entity, also taking into considerati on - as far as possible – all asp ects and
consequences on social level.
Keywords: globalization; European integration; liberalization; market principles
During the last two decades of the previous century the vocabulary of most modern languages coined a
new term, i.e. globalization (de la Dhesa, 2007, pp. 18-19)
, which being widely and excessively used
nowadays, has somehow lost its core significance. In its wide range of meanings and designated realities,
this word designates altogether success and failure, economic progress and social regress, cultural voids
and moral decreases, all considered consequences of the intense worldwide spread commercial activity and
of its subsequent consumer culture.
The various definitions given to this concept are not exhaustive, since each of them aims at defining
globalization according to the specific field of activity to which it addresses. Therefore, one analyzes
globalization from an economic, political, sociological, cultural point of view, actually from the viewpoint
of the subsystems making up the global social system. In an attempt to gather the various aspects implied
by globalization, one may assess that it represents a globally felt process and phenomenon, based on an
intensification of economic activities and exchanges, which were in fact possible due to the diminishing or
even complete removal of certain barriers, thus leading to countless interdependent connections, so that any
unbalance in a certain part of the world could eventually be felt thousands of miles apart, causing shocks
that shatter the entire human society.
Theodore Levitt is among the first to use this term in the year 19 83, in a paper on the globalization of markets. In 1990
Michael Porter uses the term to differentiate between the multinational company and the global one, as he understood them.
Also in 1990 Kenichi Ohmae use s this term in order to define the globa l company as „one which has entirely abandonden its
national identity, operating as an over-national entity on global level”.