Peña, Félix. (2003) Consensual Integration Alliances: The Importance of Predictability and Efficacy in the Mercosur Institutional Experience. Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series, Vol. 2 No. 3, March 2003. [Working Paper]
(From the introduction). A voluntary integration alliance between sovereign nations, whatever its intensity, has a vocation of permanence. This is a central element, though it does not necessarily guarantee the irreversibility of the process. Still, this system of integration is conceived and constructed assuming the vocation of permanence. It is important that this vocation adjusts itself to the rules of the game that reflect and sustain it on the basis of reciprocal national interests. It is a dynamic win-win perception that in the long run preserves the social pact among participating nations, and explains its domestic legitimacy. The essential role of common institutions and rules of the game is precisely to maintain the balance of national interests in the long term. The quality of these institutions and rules will have a strong impact on explaining the relative success of an integration process. The demand for institutions in a concrete process will depend largely on the degree of interdependence and on the concentration of relative power among the partners.
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