Regional integration has been defined as the process through which independent national states “voluntarily mingle

Regional integration has been defined as the process through which independent national states “voluntarily mingle, merge and mix with their neighbors so as to lose the factual attributes of sovereignty while acquiring new techniques for resolving conflicts among themselves.” De Lombaerde and Van Langenhove, 2007, describe it as a worldwide phenomenon of territorial systems that increases the interactions between their components and creates new forms of organization, co-existing with traditional forms of state-led organization at the national level. Some scholars see regional integration simply as the process by which states within a particular region increase their level interaction with regard to economic, security, political, or social and cultural issues (Van Ginkel, 2003).