Regional integration refers to a process where neighboring states agree to intensify their cooperation through common rules and common institutions. While the European integration process with the European Union (EU) is by far the most extensive example of regional integration, similar processes has been launched both in Africa (African Union), Asia (ASEAN).
Regional integration often starts with a removal of 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 and adopting cohesive regional stances on policy issues, such as the environment, climate change and migration.
Regional integration in Europe is by far the most extensive integration process. It started out as a peace project after the end of the second world war (in the 1950s) and was consolidated with the Treaty on the European Union (the Maastricht Treaty), which came into force in November 1993 and established the European Union. Since then it has continued to develop and to adapt to a changing geopolitical and intra-European context.
Examples of NUPI's research areas on regional integration includes:
- The European Union (the EU) and EEA
- The African Union
- Nordic cooperation
- Regional integration in Asia and Eurasia (ASEAN and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU))
News about regional integration
5 Mar 2021
Corona crisis, legitimization crisis and climate crisis. These are merely a few of the obstacles currently facing the EU. How is it coping? And where will the EU find itself in 2025? EU crisis management is in focus in a new book by Prof. Marianne Riddervold (NUPI and HINN)...
7 Dec 2020
NUPI has produced ten hours of high quality radio about foreign policy and international relations. The programs will air on NRK P2 during week 50, Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 11.00. Tune in!
9 Nov 2020
What are the alternatives to the EEA Agreement? What happens if Norway joins the EU, or if the EEA is terminated? A new book edited by Arne Melchior and Frode Nilssen looks into this.
Publications about regional integration
: Academic lecture
2021Since 2020, the Nordic countries have been confronted with the Covid-19 pandemic, which has been a multi-level stress test for the region. The strong basis of open borders and free movement in Nordic cooperation has been questioned by national pandemic measures, including wide travel restrictions. The...
: Policy Brief
Research projects about regional integration
Photograph: NTB Scanpix
Understanding and Strenthening EU Foreign & Security Poliocy in a Complex and Contested World (JOINT)2021 (Ongoing)
The JOINT project analyses these dynamics while addressing the question of how the EU and its member states can make their foreign and security policy structures more joined-up and sustainable.
A new European security and defence architecture in the making What does it look like and what are the implications for Norway? (EURODEFENCE)2021 - 2024 (Ongoing)
This project will study the implications of the new European defence initiatives for Norway particularly, as an allied and closely associated non-member of the EU. Despite the incremental nature of the...
Photograph: EU media library
COOPERATION: President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and President og the AU, Moussa Faki Mahama.2020 - 2021 (Ongoing)
This collaborative project between NUPI, ACCORD and ECFR aims to stimulate and enrich the dialogue in Africa and Europe on the underlying geopolitical, Covid-19, peace and security and other key developments...