The growing influence of the major international economic organizations on members and non-members alike makes it imperative that the rules and functions of these organizations be fully understood. This work is designed to meet the need for a late 1990s concise treatment of significant international economic institutions and agreements. The first part of the book is devoted to world organizations or conventions: the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank Group, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. The second part covers regional organizations: the early experiments in European integration, the European Community, and the North American Free-Trade Agreement. In this book Professor van Meerhaeghe also provides a critical comment on the activities of these institutions. For example, he casts doubt on the usefulness of several institutions and questions the craving for power of the European Commission. This seventh edition of the text been extensively revised and brought up to date.
The former long chapter on the Economic Community has been split up into three chapters on customs union, economic union and monetary union respectively. A chapter on NAFTA has been added. Due to their reduced (Benelux, EFTA) or only historical (Comecon) significance, the core only of these former chapters has been kept.