debate among the economists on the benefits and
costs of preferential agreements—compared to the
multilateral “erga omnes” liberalisation provided
by the WTO forum—is one of the most complex debate
in trade theory. Preferential agreements are even
more complex to analyse when they include services
because services are intensive in regulations
and difficult to liberalise. Among the preferential
agreements signed since 1947, there are a few
astounding successes—the European Community being
one of the most well known. But there are blatant
failures, and a vast majority of meaningless agreements.
to its long standing interest in the European
Community, current GEM work focuses on three regions
particularly challenging: the Balkans, Mercosur,
and the Middle East.