The Limits of Interregionalism: The EU and North America

Vinod K. Aggarwal and Edward Fogarty

Journal of European Integration, 2005

In this article, we view the past practice and future prospects of EU interregionalism toward North America in their commercial relations through an analytical lens we have developed elsewhere (Aggarwal and Fogarty 2004). Notably, we do not address interregionalism as a process or outcome, as Söderbaum and van Langenhove do in the introduction to this special issue—though we certainly acknowledge the utility of doing so.1 Rather, we analyze interregionalism as a policy strategy—the choice to pursue (or not to pursue, in the EU-North America case) formalized intergovernmental relations across distinct regions. Hence we focus on the question of why European Union policymakers chose to pursue a policy to deal with each of the three countries of North America bilaterally, without seriously considering an interregional relationship with NAFTA.

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