By Edward Fagan
Regional integration, the good side
Regional integration can succeed among countries that are fiercely nationalistic. This is only likely to happen, however, if political union is optional for each country.
Those countries, therefore, who prefer to relinquish their sovereignty can have full integration. Those, who thus prefer not to do so, can remain sovereign independent states.
Countries participating in the integration process who remain sovereign can still benefit from, and contribute to the community. They and the community can pursue: Bilateral trade, joint development and investment ventures, and cooperation in several areas.
These areas of cooperation can include: crime and drug trafficking detection and prevention, and education and training. They can also cooperate their efforts in: disease prevention and control, and responses to shared environmental concerns. Finally, they can also work together in mutually using the sea as an economic resource.
The topics I mention in this piece are relevant to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This well-intentioned agreement involves the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Regional integration, the problems
Sovereignty is precious, we must never relinquish it. We will suffer several disadvantages if we relinquish our sovereignty to become a part of a regional super state.
These disadvantages include our having to abolish immigration processing procedures for persons from other territories in the region. We will thus have to allow them unrestricted entry into our country at all times.
They will therefore enter without having to produce any documents at all. This same unchecked and undocumented entry will apply to aircraft and seacraft entering our country from the region.
Criminals, drug dealers, money launderers, drug addicts and drugs from the region will flood our country without any trace. Other undesirable persons such as prostitutes and people with certain diseases will also do the same. These people will put our health care, social services, housing and such sectors at risks. The demographics of our country will also change permanently, and we might one day, just end up losing our country.
I can recall examples in history of a people losing their identity and country. The latter-mentioned conditions above can contribute to this unfortunate situation becoming a harsh reality.
by Edward Fagan
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