The role of national governments in international affairs is affected by the increasing role of regional organisations with growing impact as diplomatic entities. The concept of regional organisations, as entities for integration of policies of countries of certain geographical areas started to develop after the cold war although the European Union (EU) integration for example started after Wold War II. Before that, blocs at the international scene were mainly ideological with the western bloc, the eastern bloc and the non-alliance
For regional organisations to act as diplomatic entities there should be some kind of foreign policy framework that serves the collective interest of countries represented by the regional organisation such as The European Common Security and Foreign Policy for the EU countries.
Moreover, there should be an institutional framework for decision making of these matters that serve this collective interest. Another factor that affect regional organisations role globally is the level of the development of their diplomatic or representations network. For countries, this is represented by the embassies while for the EU, for example, there is the European Union External Action Service.
Other regional organisations, they haven’t developed these networks of representations due to resources constraints and due to the lack of an established foreign policy framework that serves the collective interest of the represented countries.
The Central America Integration System- EU free trade agreement, which was the first region to region free trade agreement, is an importance case of diplomacy of regional organisations. Regional organisations have more leverage when they are negotiating free trade agreements instead of individual countries due the combined size of the economies and the collective political power of the countries they are representing.
In the passing year, we have organised various platforms to discuss the integration of several regional organisations including the European Union, the Maghreb Union and the African Union. In our upcoming Young Diplomats Forum, we will shed light more other regional organisations such as The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), the Central American Integration System ( SICA) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).