Regional integration is a process in which states enter into a regional agreement in order to enhance regional cooperation through regional

institutions and rules. The objectives of the agreement could range from economic to political, although it has generally become a political economy initiative where commercial purposes are the means to achieve broader socio-political and security objectives. It could be organized either on asupranational or an intergovernmental decision-making institutional order, or a combination of both. Past efforts at regional integration have often focused on removing barriers to free trade in the region, increasing the free movement of people, labour, goods, and capital across national borders, reducing the possibility of regional armed conflict (for example, through Confidence and Security-Building Measures), and adopting cohesive regional stances on policy issues, such as the environment, climate change and migration.

Regional integration
Several Regional integration efforts have effectively promoted intergovernmental cooperation and reduced the possibility of regional armed conflict. Other initiatives have removed barriers to free trade in European regions, and increased the free movement of people, labour, goods, and capital across national borders. [edit]Baltic

region

The following political and/or economic organisations have been created in the Baltic region in the postmodern era: The Baltic Assembly aims to promote co-operation between the parliaments of the Baltic states, namely the Republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The organisation was planned in Vilnius on 1 December 1990, and the three nations agreed to its structure and rules on 13 June 1994. The Baltic Free Trade Area (BAFTA) was a trade agreement between Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. It was signed on 13 September 1993 and came into force on 1 April 1994. The agreement was later extended to apply also to agricultural products, effective from 1 January 1997. BAFTA ceased to exist when its members joined the EU on 1 May 2004. The Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) was founded in 1992 to promote intergovernmental cooperation among Baltic Sea countries in questions concerning economy, civil society development, human rights issues, and nuclear and radiation safety. It has 12 members including Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland (since 1995), Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden and the European Commission.

It entered into force in 1948. and three British Crown dependencies (Guernsey. a treaty establishing the Benelux Customs Union was signed. stability and prosperity by encouraging friendly and good-neighbourly relations among the 12 state members. and Luxembourg. Scotland and Wales). enhance international and regional security. Russia. Azerbaijan. The GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development is a regional organization of four post-Soviet states. Azerbaijan. and ceased to exist on 1 November 1960. On 5 September 1944. Because England does not have a devolved government. Current members include the four founding ones. and entered into force on 1 May 1999. Greece. A Benelux Parliament was created in 1955. the Isle of Man and Jersey). Ukraine. and stepping up European integration. Moldova. when it was replaced by the Benelux Economic Union after a treaty signed in The Hague on 3 February 1958. namely. the following agreements have been signed in the British Isles region: The British-Irish Council was created by the Belfast Agreement in 1998 to "promote the harmonious and mutually beneficial development of the totality of relationships among the peoples of these islands". Turkey. located mainly in the Black Sea region. BLEU was created by the treaty signed on 25 July 1921. . [edit]British Isles Since the end of the First World War. three of the constituent countries of the UK (Northern Ireland. Its membership comprises Ireland. ensure stable development. It was formally established on 2 December 1999. such as: The Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) aims to ensure peace. Georgia. the Netherlands. the United Kingdom. Georgia. Armenia. while setting the Belgian franc and Luxembourgian franc at a fixed parity. and Moldova. and Ukraine. Uzbekistan joined in 1999. [edit]Black Sea region Several regional organisations have been founded in the Black Sea region since the fall of the Soviet Union. Serbia (then Serbia and Montenegro) joined in April 2004. Bulgaria. The Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union (BLEU) can be seen as the Benelux forerunner. It was created on 25 June 1992 in Istanbul. The 11 founding members were Albania. and left in 2005. It established a single market between both countries. which aims to promote cooperation and democratic values. Romania. it is not represented on the Council as a separate entity.[edit]Low Countries region Since the end of the First World War the following unions have been set in the Low Countries region: The Benelux is an economic and political union between Belgium.

the following organisations have been established in the Nordic region: The Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers is a co-operation forum for the parliaments and governments of the Nordic countries created in February 1953. EU Support to Regional Integration in Africa ± Policy Framework . Serbia and UNMIK-administered Kosovo province. created in 1954 but implemented on 1 May 1958. The Group originated in a summit meeting of Czechoslovakia. the United Kingdom. Slovakia. It comprises Denmark. Montenegro. Albania. Sweden and Norway as foundational states. but came into force only in 1994. Czechoslovakia had in the meantime split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It includes the states of Denmark. Greenland and Åland). In 2004. the Czech Republic. and Albania. [edit]Central Europe The following cooperation agreements have been signed in Central Europe: The Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) is a trade agreement between countries in Central and South-Eastern Europe. Slovenia joined in 1996. the Isle of Man. and both employ the Swiss franc as national currency. Jersey and Guernsey. It currently has 8 members: Croatia. and the Danish autonomous territories of Faroe Islands since 1 January 1966.The Common Travel Area is a passport-free zone established in 1922 that comprises the Republic of Ireland. It was established in 1992 by Czechoslovakia. while Romania did the same in 1997. Finland. Hungary and Poland. Macedonia joined it in 2006. Poland. Macedonia. Subsequently. further. The Visegrad Group is a Central-European alliance for cooperation and European integration. Hungary and Poland held in the Hungarian castle town of Visegrád on 15 February 1991. Serbia and UNMIK (on behalf of Kosovo) in 2007. Romania and Bulgaria left it in 2007 for the same reason. Moldova. Moldova. and Slovenia left the CEFTA to join the EU. Norway and Sweden. and their autonomous territories (Faroe Islands. The Czech Republic and Slovakia became members after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993. Iceland. it includes Finland and Iceland since 24 September 1965. which works as a preparation for full European Union membership. Montenegro. [edit]Nordic region Since the end of the Second World War. The Nordic Passport Union. Bulgaria in 1999. Bosnia and Herzegovina. Switzerland and Liechtenstein participate in a customs union since 1924. Bosnia and Herzegovina. and Croatia in 2003. Hungary. establishes free movement across borders without passports for the countries' citizens.

the European Commission put forward a Communication on ³Regional Integration for Development in ACP Countries´[3]. energy and telecommunications networks. particularly with a view to promoting regional governance and cooperation for peace and security and to improving national institutional capacities to implement regional policies. especially with regards to food security. Developing regional policies for sustainable development. y y y y . investment and regulatory standards. Strengthening regional institutions.In light of the above. and mobilising capital. Connecting regional infrastructure networks with an emphasis on completing the ³missing links´ between national road. the common management of natural resources and social cohesion. which was endorsed by the Council in November 2008. strengthening productive capacities. The Communication adopts a comprehensive notion of regional integration that is reflected in the five priority areas identified for EU support. Facilitating business development by improving the regulatory environment. namely: y Building regional integrated markets through the effective implementation of existing regional tradein-goods commitments and the integration of the services sector.