European Union Development Trends: Some Aspects of Economic Integration

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2024-68-1-95-104
A. Chetverikova,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.

Received 11.08.2023. Revised 13.09.2023. Accepted 09.10.2023.

Acknowledgements. The article was prepared within the project “Post-crisis world order: challenges and technologies, competition and cooperation” supported by the grant from Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation program for research projects in priority areas of scientific and technological development (Agreement No. 075-15-2020-783).

Abstract. The article is devoted to the analysis of the European Union development as an integration association. The economic aspects of integration within the EU as a whole as well as developing sub-integration processes are highlighted. Existing estimates show fluctuation in the level of the EU integration and its significant reduction in certain areas during some periods. The internationalization of the world economy and the increasing involvement of the EU in these processes couldn’t but have an impact on the intra-European situation. The assessment of the economic integration is made on the basis of the dynamics of the trade-investment cooperation and migration processes also. The analysis showed that different economic ties are not equally involved in the integration within the EU. If at the beginning of the XXI century the merchandise trade and FDI were comparable in terms of the level of involvement in the intra-European flows, then at present investment ties are considerably inferior to trade ones, having refocused on countries outside the EU. There is a steady trend in increasing of the share of citizens of non-EU countries living in the EU as well as EU citizens born in non-EU countries. The complexity of the European integration is traced by the example of sub-integration processes in the Visegrad Group. It is shown that accession to the EU has stimulated trade-investment cooperation within the “fourth”, but strong contrasts between members continue to persist. One of the main factors of the participation level in sub-integration is the economy size. Due to national features investment ties in terms of outstock are involved in subintegration processes more than trade ones. Sub-integration will continue to develop in the EU due to long-term factors, “complicating” pan-European integration processes, the non-linearity of which will remain.

Keywords: European Union, development dynamics, economic indicators of integration, Visegrad Group, subintegration


1. Arteev S.P. Studies of European Integration at IMEMO. Analysis & Forecasting. IMEMO Journal, 2020, no. 1, pp. 94-115. (In Russ.) Available at:  

2. Borko Yu.A. The Birth of the Soviet School of European Integration Studies. Part 2. Contemporary Europe, 2020, no. 5, pp. 46-53. (In Russ.) Available at:

3. Maksimova M.M. Main Problems of Imperialist Integration. Economic Aspect. Moscow, Mysl’, 1971. 357 p. (In Russ.)

4. Podkina K.Yu., Andreeva E.L. Overview of the Methodological Approaches to the Assessment of International Economic Integration. Russian Journal of Economic Theory, 2019, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 598-605. (In Russ.) Available at:

5. Sabelnikova E.M. Approaches to Assessing the Effects of Economic Integration at the Industry Level: A Review of World Experience. Scientific Works: Institute of Economic Forecasting of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 2016, vol. 14, pp. 433-460. (In Russ.)

6. Prakash A., Hart J. Indicators of Economic Integration. Global Governance, 2000, no. 6, pp. 95-114.

7. Shishkov Yu.V. Regionalization and Globalization of World Economy: Alternative or Complementarity. World Economy and International Relations, 2008, no. 8, pp. 3-20. (In Russ.) Available at:

8. Golovnin M.Yu., Zakharov A.V., Ushkalova D.I. Economic Integration: Lessons for the Post-Soviet Space. World Economy and International Relations, 2016, vol. 60, no. 4, pp. 61-69. (In Russ.) Available at:

9. Konig J. The EU Index of Integration Effort. Brugge, United Nations University, 2015. 28 p.

10. Panteleev A.A., head. System of Integration Indicators as a Tool for Analyzing the Functioning of Regional Integration Associations. Moscow, Eurasian Economic Commission, 2019. 92 p. (In Russ.)

11. Libman A.M., Kheyfets B.A. Models of Economic Disintegration. Integration and Disintegration. Eurasian Economic Integration, 2011, no. 2 (11), pp. 4-18. (In Russ.)

12. Shishkov Yu.V. Domestic Theory of Regional Integration: Experience of the Past and Vision of Future. World Economy and International Relations, 2006, no. 4, pp. 54-63. (In Russ.) Available at:

13. Stehrer R., Leitner S., Marcias M., Mirza D., Pinyuk O., Siedschlag I., Stöllinger R., Studnicka Z. The Evolving Composition of Intra-EU Trade. Vienna, WIIW, 2016. 141 p.

14. Ilzkovitz F., Dierx A., Kovacs V., Sousa N. Steps towards a Deeper Economic Integration: the Internal Market in the 21st Century. A Contribution to the Single Market Review. Brussels, European Commission, 2007. 88 p.

15. Dangerfield M. Visegrad Group Cooperation and “Europeanisation” of New EU Member States. Fading Nation-States? The Impact of European Integration on Central and Eastern Europe. Conference paper, Krakow, 2011. Available at: (accessed 03.08.2023).

16. Jasiecki K. The Role and Importance of Economic Cooperation of the Visegrad Group Countries in the European Union since 2015. Studies in European Affairs, 2020, no. 3. pp. 183-205. (In Pol.)

17. Hunya G., Richter S. Mutual Trade and Investment of the Visegrad Countries before and fter Their EU Accession. Eastern Journal of the European Studies, 2011, vol. 2, no. 2, p. 77-91.

18. Ulbrych M. The Role and Importance of Manufacturing Trade Cooperation of the Visegrad Group Countries. Central and Eastern Europe in the Changing Business Environment. Prague, University of Economics, 2018, pp. 455-466.

19. Kondratieva N.B. European Model of Market Integration. Formation and Prospects. Moscow, Institute of Europe RAS, 2020. 384 p. (In Russ.)


1. The Single Market Scoreboard. European Commission. Available at: (accessed 03.08.2023).

2. Indicators. The World Bank Data. Available at: (accessed 03.08.2023).

3. World Investment Report. Annex Tables. UNCTAD, 2023. Available at: (accessed 03.08.2023).

4. People at Risk of Poverty or Social Exclusion in 2022. Eurostat, 14.06.2023. Available at: (accessed 03.08.2023).

5. Detailed Datasets. Eurostat. Available at: (accessed 03.08.2023).

6. Foreign Direct Investment: Inward and Outward Flows and Stock, Annual. UNCTADstat, 2023. Available at: (accessed 04.08.2023).

7. International Trade and Balance of Payments. OECD.Stat. Available at: (accessed 03.08.2023).

For citation:
Chetverikova A. European Union Development Trends: Some Aspects of Economic Integration. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2024, vol. 68, no. 1, pp. 95-104. EDN: LGXEOM

Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment






Dear authors! Please note that in the VAK List of peer-reviewed scientific journals, in which the main scientific results of dissertations for the degree of candidate and doctor of sciences should be published for the “MEMO Journal” the following specialties are recorded:
economic sciences:
5.2.5. World Economy.
5.2.1. Economic Theory
5.2.3. Regional and Branch Economics
political sciences:
5.5.4. International Relations
5.5.1. History and Theory of Politics
5.5.2. Political Institutions, Processes, Technologies


Current Issue
2024, vol. 68, No. 6
Topical Themes of the Issue:
  • The “Pivot to Asia”: AUKUS in the Perception of American Politicum
  • The Collapse of the European Collective Security System
  • Public Investment and Sustainability of World Economy
  • Sub-Saharan Africa: Trends, Proportions and Factors of Development
Submit an Article
The Editorial Board invites authors to write analytical articles on the following topics:
  • changes in the processes of globalization in modern conditions
  • formation of the new world order
  • shifts in civilization at the stage of transition to a digital society

The editors are also interested in publishing synthesis articles / scientific reviews revealing the main trends in the development of certain regions of the world - Latin America, Africa, South Asia, etc.