Ongoing processes in the European Union and the South American Mercosur enforce political and institutional reforms. Economists and politicians must be able to understand these processes to formulate strategic scenarios, to design and implement interventions which contribute favorably to the future. Under four headings the discussion is organized: regional economic integration with respect to financial markets (and the consequences for Basel II), commercial and competitive policy, and the role of foreign direct investments. International trade and growth related to agricultural products, natural gas, and labor. Institutional comparisons and methodological problems with respect to pharmaceutical price policies, teachers’ salaries, income distribution, and critical realism. Fundamental changes of ICT affect governance structures, the value chain, and academic teaching and learning.