INTEGRATION IDEAS ON THE SOUTH AMERICAN CONTINENT (Idee integracyjne na kontynencie poludniowoamerykanskim)
The aim of the present work is to answer the question why attempts to integrate South American countries are not successful. Doing the research into the issue, the researchers analyzed the most important initiatives to integrate South American countries and tried to find the reasons of the failures. They came to many conclusions, for instance: the remembrance of tribal fights in the distant past and contemporary clashes between the countries affected the mentality of the local nations to a considerable extent, resulting in mutual mistrust and often even hostility, which make all the attempts to develop rapprochement impossible. Moreover, for years the United States have treated South American countries as a 'backyard' to do its own business and it strived to block all the integration initiatives undertaken by these countries in fear of losing its influence in the region. A very important problem is the fact that the countries of the South cannot work out any advanced compromises in the same way as the Europeans do because their particular national interests get the upper hand over the contradictory interests of other countries. However, the multiplicity of the attempts undertaken by the South American countries as well as their very long history and more and more common belief that separately these countries have very little importance internationally gives the latest initiatives a chance to succeed and make South America a politically cohesive and economically strong region which would give them a strong position and independence on the international arena.
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