Integration and catching up

Contrary to commonly used political slogans, the integration of back­ward regions to the developed world does not automatically lead to a catching up to those. A comparative analysis of successful and unsuccessful experiments shows that the West has only assisted some countries to a higher level of development for its own interests and not for charity; and that neither national nor regional isolation have led to a successful alternative to the exposure to the capitalist core. Consequently, there can be no ready recipes for Eastern Eu­rope either, and the experimentation with new solutions remains an inevitable factor of the transformation.