Advocates of alternative regional integration strongly argue that solutions to global crises (finance, economy, environment, climate, energy, health, nutrition, social affairs, etc.) must include regional solutions and regional integration, as they go beyond national borders and territories and require the geographical cooperation of different peoples. However, they propose alternatives to the dominant forms of neoliberal integration, which focus on the needs of multinationals and investors. Joseph Stiglitz, a renowned economist, Harvard professor, former senior vice-president and chief economist at the World Bank, has also strongly opposed neoliberal globalization (see neoliberalism). Stiglitz argues that deregulation, free trade and cuts in social spending, or the austerity policies of the neoliberal economy, have indeed caused and exacerbated global crises. In his 2002 book “Globalization” and his displeasure, he explains how the industrialized countries of the United States, Europe, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have not evolved with the neoliberal policies promoted by the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank in the south of the WTO and the world south, but with a careful mix of protection, regulation and , social support and intervention by national governments in the market. Regional integration in Europe was consolidated by the Treaty on the European Union (The Maastricht Treaty), which came into force in November 1993 and founded the European Union. The European Free Trade Association is a free trade bloc of four countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Norway) that operates in parallel and is linked to the European Union. The North American Free Trade Agreement was concluded in January 1994, when Mexico joined an existing bilateral free trade agreement between the United States and Canada. In 1993, the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) focused on reducing tariffs in the Pacific. The AFTA was launched in 2000.
The shift from a closed regionalism system to a more open model is due to the fact that the part of trade blocs created in the 1960s and 1970s among developing countries was based on specific models such as import substitution and regional agreements related to the general prevalence of high barriers to foreign trade. The good news is that there has been some restructuring of some of the old agreements. Agreements are generally more proactive in their external approach and demonstrate a commitment to the attempt to advance international trade rather than trying to limit them through strict control.  Some argue that the desire for closer integration is generally linked to a greater willingness to open up national states to the outside world or that regional economic cooperation is pursued as a means of promoting development through greater efficiency and not as a means of disadvantageing others. [Citation required] It is also stated that the members of these agreements hope that they will be the building blocks of progress with a growing range of partners and towards a generally freer and more open global environment for trade and investment, and that integration is not an end in itself, but a process of supporting strategies for economic growth, greater social equality and democratization.  However, regional integration strategies, as implemented by economic and national interests, particularly over the past 30 years, are also highly controversial throughout civil society. There is no conclusive evidence that strategies for economic deregulation or increased investor protection, implemented as forms of regional integration, have succeeded in contributing to “progress” towards sustainable economic growth, as the number of economic crises in the world has increased in recent decades.