Role of EFTA in European Integration

  • Victoria Curzon
Part of the Trade Policy Research Centre book series (TPRC)


The process by which separate economic territories merge in order to form larger units has been sustained over a long period of time. In Europe, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, countries attempted to consolidate the numerous customs territories contained within their frontiers. France, under Louis XIV, was divided into three main customs districts; the Austrian Empire was divided into six customs territories, not counting six again in Hungary; Holland contained two customs territories until 1861; in Switzerland the last of the cantonal tariffs was not abolished until 1874.1 The gradual integration of these national economies was, for the most part, accomplished by the beginning of the nineteenth century when, for the first time, economic frontiers coincided more or less with political frontiers. In one unique case the economic frontier exceeded the territory covered by individual political frontiers—the Zollverein—but by 1871 the political frontier had been stretched to cover the economic one, and the unity of the nation-state, from both the economic and the political points of view, was achieved.


Free Trade European Integration Economic Integration European Economic Community Free Trade Area 
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  1. W. O. Henderson, The Genesis of the Common Market (London: Frank Cass, 1962), pp. ix–xv and pp. 89–90.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Michael Curtis, Western European Integration (New York: Harper & Row, 1965), p. 23.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    See Victoria Curzon et al., EFTA and the Crisis of European Integration (London: Michael Joseph, 1968), p. 313.Google Scholar
  4. 10.
    See C. A. Cooper and B. F. Massell, “A New Look at Customs Union Theory”, Economic Journal, Cambridge, vol. LXXV, 1965, pp. 742–847, for a theoretical discussion of this point. The authors conclude that the gains are greater if the multilateral option is chosen (see below, p. 260).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victoria Curzon
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut Universitaire d’Études EuropéennesUniversity of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland

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