Integration Character of the CETA Agreement

TitleIntegration Character of the CETA Agreement
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsMagdalena Śliwińska
JournalActa Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Oeconomica
Keywordscommon market, economic integration, economic union, European integration, free trade area, regional integration, regional trade agreements, stages of economic integration, trade agreements, trade liberalisation

One of the manifestations of economic globalisation seen in recent years is the so‑called “new generation” type of trade agreements such as the TPP, CETA and TTIP. They aim at trade liberali‑ sation, but their scope is broader, comprising other areas of socio‑economic life, more or less directly linked to trade, such as e.g.: the liberalisation of public services, the mutual recognition of professional qualifications, the deregulation and liberalisation of financial markets, the protection of intellectual property rights, and the cooperation in creating new rules or protecting mutual investments. There‑ fore, the aim of this paper is to analyse the scope and content of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) signed in 2016 by the European Union and Canada from the point of view of the Balassa stages of economic integration and the EU’s experience in order to state whether the naming of such agreements as trade agreements, even with the “new generation” qualification, is re‑ ally justified. The analysis presented in this paper leads to the conclusion that this agreement should rather be included in the category of agreements labelled as integration agreements. Most of the CETA provisions are at the same level of sophistication as was achieved by the EU countries at the stage of building the single market, that is, at the stage of the implementation of the common mar‑ ket in Balassa’s nomenclature, and some of them are at the stage of economic and monetary union. The scope of the CETA, i.e. the number of areas of social and economic life regulated by it as well as their advancement and complexity, goes far beyond what is commonly understood as a trade agreement and beyond its official purpose – the creation of a free trade area between the European Union and Canada. It leads to economic integration at a level far deeper than a free trade area in its classic and common sense.

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