Ernst & Young said it has approved a plan to integrate all of its 87 country practices in Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa into a new EMEIA Area.

The firm also confirmed that more than 700 partners in the Far East had supported a similar integration across 15 countries and territories. The EMEIA Area will operate as a single unit, led by a single executive team and, where allowed by laws and regulations, be underscored by formal combinations of practices.

The new area will be an $11.2 billion organization with more than 60,000 people. The 3,300 partners of EMEIA will vote on the integration by the end of May. The new EMEIA Area will be effective July 1, 2008.

The integration of the Far East Area creates a $1.2 billion organization, with more than 20,000 people. The new structure will also be effective from July 1, 2008.

Mark Otty, currently the head of the U.K. practice, has been nominated to be the EMEIA Area managing partner, while David Sun and Jim Hassett were confirmed as Far East co-area managing partners.