chapter  X
36 Pages

The European Payments Union

To suppose that the OEEC countries could still be integrated in a free-trade framework by a programme of trade liberalization leading to a multilateral payments system was to commit a double error. In the first place events had already shown that any framework for economic integration would have to be smaller and more restrictive . In the second place, the method now proposed did not in fact avoid the direct political confrontations of the earlier method. To suppose that it would overlooked the extent to which quantitative trade restrictions represented a hard-won balance of real political interests . If they were to be removed as fast as the ECA intended the point would soon be reached where it became a question of removing protective devices whose purpose was to uphold the political balance of power within the nation states .