Skip to content


Driveth Razo

Will it be possible for Latin America to replicate and consolidate a model similar to that of the European Union?

- An integration similar to that of the European Union is difficult to envision in a Latin American context, but not impossible.

Will it be possible for Latin America to replicate and consolidate a model similar to that of the European Union?

There have been various attempts to achieve in America what was achieved in Europe: an economic, cultural and social union. However, just as various attempts have been made, various conditions and events in the region have prevented its consolidation. Among which stands out the belief that regional integration in terms of a free trade zone would be sufficient, leaving aside multidimensional integration, which was undoubtedly what helped the European Union become a reality.

The Latin American Free Trade Association (ALALC) and the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI) were two of the first failed attempts promoted in Latin America. However, the “structural limits of these organizations prevented the implementation of their objectives”[1]. One of the main factors in its failure can be found in the lack of a constant political impulse in the integration processes.

Although the Latin American States share ties created from the experience of similar experiences, from the colonial era, through coups d'état and dictatorships, as well as the imposition of democracy and corruption that has only been increasing, none of this It has been enough, especially if one takes into consideration that the State projects seem to be more of a government, or at most of a political party, which has only made it impossible to articulate these projects over time since, as they arrive, they end with the change of head of government.

In 2008, the Mesoamerican Integration and Development Project was created, which "was defined as a regional initiative to implement projects that result in concrete benefits for societies in terms of economic growth, interconnectivity, and social development"[2] . Although it does not cover Latin America in its entirety, due to what was previously mentioned, at least the Project does have the transversal nature that other articulations have lacked.

For its part, until the Salinas administration, Mexico had a discourse in favor of Latin American integration. As can be reflected in the saying passed from generation to generation "Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States." However, said discourse did not occur in practice, because in practice "the dynamics of markets, companies, workers, and commerce produced a progressively denser integration process between the economies on both sides of the northern border of Mexico." ”[3]. With the passage of time, said discourse began to change in part because the practice, as previously mentioned, was different from what was wanted to be projected. Therefore, it was not surprising that said pro-Latin American discourse changed to a pro-American one, favoring the creation of the past NAFTA with the United States and Canada.

It could be said that South-South International Cooperation has contributed to these integration efforts, especially taking into consideration that in recent years it has positioned itself as one of the favorite forms in terms of cooperation. Although one of the main reasons for its increase is found in commercial interests, by legitimately seeking to promote exports from its State to new markets, it has provided "multilateral cooperation agreements signed within the framework of regional organizations such as the Andean Community of Nations (CAN), Mercosur, ALBA, among others"[4].

Although the economic character is an excellent starting point when implementing regional agreements, it is extremely important to unite such efforts in other areas. An exceptional case of the aforementioned can be found in Mexico, which has been economically integrated into the United States, moving away politically and economically from Latin America, but without achieving the transversal annexation that it could have achieved by continuing to pursue this Latin American configuration, due to the fact that the Latin American historical past is of greater weight than the American one.

If it is desired to achieve a Latin American Union, consolidated as the European Union, it is essential to ensure that the Latin American States begin to see their State Projects as such and not as political party projects. The continuity of the efforts begun in each presidential term is needed, thus prioritizing the State and not the political party. Until this happens, the idea of a Latin American Union will continue to be unconsolidated, economic agreements prevailing over transversal agreements.


    [1] Sharon Ahcar Cabarcas, Oriana Galofre Charris y Roberto González Arana. Procesos de integración regional en américa latina: un enfoque político. revista de economía del caribe nº. 11 (2013) pp. 77-99.

    [2] Michelle Ruiz Valdes y Sergio Vázquez Maneley. ¿De qué otra forma analizar el Proyecto Mesoamérica? Reflexiones desde la economía política internacional británica. OASIS, ISSN: 1657-7558, E-ISSN: 2346-2132, N° 31, Enero – Junio de 2020, pp. 31-50.

    [3] Martín Puchet Anyul, Juan Carlos Moreno-Brid y Pablo Ruiz Nápoles. La integración regional de México: condicionantes y oportunidades por su doble pertenencia a América del Norte y a Latinoamérica. Economía UNAM, México , v. 8, n. 23, p. 03-36, agosto 2011.

    [4] Fernando Nivia-Ruiz, F. La cooperación internacionaL Sur-Sur en américa Latina y eL caribe: una mirada deSde SuS avanceS y LimitacioneS hacia un contexto de criSiS mundiaL. re vist a de economía del caribe nº 5 (2010) pp. 188-236.

The best content in your inbox

Join our newsletter with the best of CEMERI

Related articles

Razo, Driveth. “¿Será posible que América Latina logre replicar y consolidar un modelo similar al de la Unión Europea?.” CEMERI, 19 sept. 2022,