The global reality is that economic and political integration is growing. The majority of global citizens wake up each and every day to a reality that the planet is increasingly interrelated and integrated, economically and increasingly politically.
Trade between Asia, Europe and America has gone one step forward towards global integration with the advent of the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership with signatories from Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore in 2005. Beginning in 2008, additional countries joined the discussion for a broader agreement: Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, the United States, and Vietnam .
There are two powers at work politically in Europe: one is attempting to separate the European Union Pact which has been growing in the last quarter century to now include 28 countries.
The other power is the concentrated power of capital through the 189 countries associated with the World Bank and the international monetary fund (IMF) attempting to contain the opposing forces and maintain an integrated global political and economic stability.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization which regulates international trade. The WTO officially commenced on 1 January 1995 under the Marrakesh Agreement, signed by 123 nations on 15 April 1994, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which commenced in 1948. The WTO has about 160 members, accounting for about 95% of world trade. Around 25 others are negotiating membership.(source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Trade_Organization)
The World Trade Organization since its inception is controlled by large multi-national companies which threaten the independence of nation states to control their economies, imports and exports. WTO decisions have too often been in favour of these global conglomerates of power and wealth to influence political decision-makers and have forcibly had their global trade decisions ratified by its member Parliaments and legislature.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the most powerful legislative and judicial body in the world. By promoting the free trade agenda of multinational corporations above the interests of local communities, working families, and the environment, the WTO has systematically undermined democracy around the world.
The world has experienced the strength of the informal political Global Union during the 2008-2009 banking and financial markets meltdown which showed the willingness of the stronger countries like England, France, Germany and Sweden supporting the weaker countries like Greece, Spain and Ireland. The weaker countries were granted loans and write-offs in the trillions of dollars to prevent them from becoming failed states and dragging the larger countries towards anarchy.
There was also a global integrated strategy and response with the USA, EU, and China flooding the markets with paper money to stimulate economic activity and support the banks and large derivative marketing firms which were thought to be “too big to fail” yet which were in danger of collapse and bankruptcy had these governments not intervened.
One of the greatest threats to global unity is the rise of fear and fear-mongering against minorities and migrants. Since the war in Afghanistan in the 1980’s and in Syria since 2004 millions of Muslims have been displaced from Pakistan, Iraq and North Africa since the Arab Spring uprisings of 2014 towards Europe and Great Britain. As of 2016 there are 65 million displaced citizens globally.
Fear of migrants and the dilution of European culture and traditions has created a groundswell of support for those who would like to see a decrease in migration into the European Zone and those who would like to sustain a double standard of citizenry for nationals and migrants. This will result in greater political instability and acts of political extremism which will threaten democracy and civil order. The divergence of cultures between Christians and Muslims in the European communities will increasingly create tensions which will need to be addressed with compassion and respect for human and civil rights. The extreme killings in Paris and Brussels in 2015/16 have demonstrated how ISIS/ISIL has infiltrated European countries and threatens democracy and EU economies.
Legislation to protect migrants and to maintain respect for freedoms of expression, religion, and press will need to be supported and enhanced. There is a growing resistance from the right nationalist movements in some European countries ( France and Germany specifically) which threaten the peace of integration and protection of the principles of fraternity, equality, and liberty: those values which were revolutionary in the late 18th century yet which are considered to be globally accepted now where democracies flourish. The domination by men in positions of power and political leadership is decreasing in most democracies but not in tribal or military- dominated countries.
The certainty of economic cycles of growth and decline in capitalism will ensure that these tensions, both political and economic, will continue to manifest themselves in the future.
The advent of a global united political structure is also a threat to the individual citizen, to unionism, and to the protection of workers. There is a growing trend towards concentration of capital and ownership of the means of production, and a decrease in unionized labour and protection for workers.
The European/ North American Trade Pact once ratified will decrease resistance to global political integration of decision-making.
The North American trade pact between Canada, the USA, and Mexico and the Pan-American countries will surely create a momentum politically towards an integration of countries into one continental political block.
The Asian Block including China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan, including the weaker Indo-Chinese countries of Indonesia, Malaysia,Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar will be continue to grow because of lower labour costs and less regulation in protecting the rights of workers and the environment. Although there is a great divergence in these countries politically with oligarchic communism in China, monarchy in Thailand and Japan, and burgeoning democracies in others there is still a strong prevalence in military control over the economic and social policy initiatives.
The European Block is growing in strength representing a large trading block despite the divergence of political histories and agendas the stronger countries seem to continue to rally support for their weaker partners. The border countries of Eastern Europe such as Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, Ukraine, Poland, and the fragmented remnant countries of Yugoslavia (Croatia, Serbia,, Kosovo, Macedonia, /Bosnia- Herzegovina,Slovenia, and Montenegro) will continue to increase their participation or search for inclusion in the European Union and weaken Russian Putin administration with its hegemonic expansion plans and oligarchic practices at home and abroad.(incursions into Georgia in 2008, in Ukraine in 2014, and invasion of Crimea in spring of 2014).
The fragmentation within the United Kingdom of England, Scotland, northern Ireland, and Wales (since its annexation in 1536) will continue as it has historically with their continued thirst for nationalist independence. The fear of continentalism and losing its cultural identity with the increase of migrants and the dilution of its importance within the European community also contributes to the nationalistic fervor which is rising. The upcoming vote for “Brexit” on June 23, 2016 will show whether this trend is to continue into the near future or be arrested in its manifestation.