In this paper the Balassa steps of economic integration are first reviewed, and then extended to cover currernt integration configurations. Pre-conditions for each stage of integration are detailed using a backward-looking economic conditionality approach, and then both economic and political spillover effects are analysed within a forward-looking approach so as to evaluate the sequencing of steps of integration. The European Union (EU) is currently the most advanced from of regional integration, so the template is then applied to the EU. The main findings are that fiscal union does not need to occur directly after Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), but rather a dynamic that attains political union first and then attains fiscal union might be preferable, dependent on whether EMU forms an optimal currency area or not.
JEL Classifications: F10, F15, F30, F42