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Regionalism in international politics.
Countries that lie in geographical proximity create or join regional organisations that are based on common political, ideological, economic, and infrastructural concerns. Some nations make special agreements regarding trade and economic cooperation. This is called a trade bloc.
(i) European Union (EU) was created in 1992 by the Maastricht Treaty. It led to increased spheres of cooperation between European nations e.g. foreign affairs, defense, trade, and the creation of the Euro as a common currency. The creation of the Schengen Area is one of the achievements of the EU since the Schengen visa allows eligible individuals to travel freely within the 26 nations of the Schengen area.
(ii) ASEAN created in 1967 with headquarters at Jakarta comprises of 10 South-East Asian nations such as Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, etc. It aims to promote political economic and security cooperation among its members.
(iii) SAARC formed in 1985 at Dhaka with 7 members. Today, it has 8 member countries of South Asia like India, Bhutan, Pakistan, etc. It aims to promote regional integration and economic development. Its main achievement is the SAFTA.
(iv) BIMSTEC - is a regional organisation founded in 1997 comprising of 7 member countries lying around the Bay of Bengal for eg Bangladesh, India. Thailand, Myanmar. It aims to facilitate collaboration in economic, security, and other concerns between member States.