Multilateralism versus Regionalism from the Perspective of the Central and Eastern European Countries

  • Metka Stare


In the eighties a trend towards bilateral and regional trade arrangements reappeared, which is growing even stronger in the nineties. It is not a geographically limited phenomenon but is spreading all over the world like a contagious disease. Initiatives for new regional trade arrangements or for the strengthening of existing ones are emerging in the developed as well as in the developing countries. Although the reasons for regional arrangements may be different, some common background points are discernible. One of them is certainly the erosion of multilateral trading rules governed by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the increasing resort to “gray area measures” implying discrimination. However, the general objective of countries when joining regional arrangements is to increase free trade with other members, to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of their economies, and to enable the transfer of technology.


European Union Trade Liberalization Eastern European Country Uruguay Round Free Trade Area 
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© Centre for International Cooperation and Development 1996

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  • Metka Stare

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