I wrote a few months ago: “As a sort of grass-root United Nations, the EU could then become the first gift to Humanity by a more peaceful, re-born Europe“.
And there it is: “Emulating the EU, countries join forces to speak with power and focus” (Stephen Castle, IHT, January 22, 2008):
“Europe’s attempt to weld 27 disparate nations into one bloc is being imitated around the globe, from Asia to Africa, as countries experiment with new ways to maximize influence.
[…] the European experiment with integration is being copied most successfully by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, [aiming for] a single market by 2015.
The African Union, conceived in 1999, while bigger and more unwieldy with 53 members, also borrows from EU structures, including its most influential bureaucracy, modeled on the European Commission and known as the AU Commission. The Latin American dream is to have something like the EU. […]”
There are some comments in the article along the lines of having a more centralized EU structure to achieve the goal of continental thinking.
I do not see that as a must: what is important, is for all the EU (and AU, and ASEAN) members to realize each of them is too small to be of any consequence compared to the Powers called USA, Russia, China, India, maybe even Japan.
Co-operative behavior will then be a natural consequence of that realization, without any need for cohercion.
I still believe that is the main reason why the British are reluctant to fully enter the EU: because that will mean them accepting that the days of the Empire are really a thing of the past.