Globally, there exist four regional trade cooperative agreements, the African Economic Community (AEC), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the European Union (EU), and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The former has the least influence based on a substantially smaller global trade proportion than the rest. Relative to the EU, the economic agreement started in 1951 as a precursor to the European Coal and Steel Community among six member states, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, West Germany, France, and Belgium. With the 1957 Treaty of Rome, the European Community was born to remove intragroup trade barriers among the members. The integration of Denmark, Ireland, and Great Britain in 1973, and Greece in 1981, Portugal and Spain in 1985 saw the community grow. In 1993, the EC changed to the EU, and in 1995, Austria joined. By 2004, ten more countries became part of the EU, and eight more nations were incorporated by 2007, bringing the total number of members to 28.
Based on the objectives of the European Act that govern the EU, management practices rely on the removed all frontier controls among EC member states, applying mutual recognition to product standards, and instituting open public procurement to non-national suppliers. The other three implications on management practice are countries have lifted competition barriers, removed every foreign exchange restriction, and abolished cabotage limitations. With Brexit, the British exit from the EU leaves the union facing an existential problem about how smaller member states might counterweight Germany’s economic power. The union’s prospects lie on balance with smaller member states raising their fears and concerns on the diminishing regional economic and political agreements that Britain help counter on the world stage. Relative to the impact of the Russia-Ukraine War, EU means member states are more concerned about immigration issues and the impact Ukraine refugees’ influx will have on the sovereign countries. For example, Poland is currently dealing with more than two million Ukrainian refugees who have crossed its borders seeking safety amid the war.