Examining formal regionalism projects in the post-Soviet space, this article explores the real impetus behind the repeated attempts at top-down regional integration by post-Soviet élites. According to his findings post-Soviet integration is dominated by four tendencies: the lack of coordination of security and economic policies; the non-implementation of powerless regional initiatives; the increase in cooperation according to the ‘Holy Alliance’ hypothesis; and the increasing bargaining power of business ― which commonly lead to negative consequences for institutional development in the region. The argument is that an efficient supranational competition policy as in the case of the EU could contribute towards liberalisation and de-monopolisation of markets. An additional point suggested by the author is the opportunity to construct European and post-Soviet integration as complementary projects, which could act as a vector for the adoption of European standards. At the same time, A. Libman shows perfectly conscious that “if efficient integration could contribute to getting out of the institutional trap, in order to become efficient, the member countries have to solve their institutional problems.”

The Redaction
CER: II-7.1-572