A debate over regionalism is heating up, with a growing number of countries making their mark on the global stage.
The debate is gaining momentum in the West, too.
The UK’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has repeatedly warned that it is time to rethink the way in which the EU functions.
The government has taken the unusual step of inviting international experts to review its “core principles” and has launched a review into its “relationship with the EU”.
The issue is gaining some attention in the European Union, with leaders meeting in Brussels on Monday to discuss the need to reform the way the bloc operates.
European Council President Donald Tusk has previously suggested that the EU needs to “re-think the way it operates”.
And the European Commission has been taking a tougher stance, with the bloc’s president, Jean-Claude Juncker, warning that regionalism threatens to undermine the “fundamental values” of the European project.
“We must stop trying to define the European community as a union of nations, a union based on common values, as we did with the United States and Canada,” Juncker said in Brussels.
“We must instead define it as a common society that respects the freedom of all its citizens and respects the values of democracy.”
In the UK, there are signs that the debate is getting a bit more heated.
In the run-up to the Brexit referendum, Boris Johnson said that the country needed to “think about what we do and why we do it”.
“I think it is essential for the country to think about where we are, and what we can do to make our country better,” he said in a speech in the House of Commons in December.
“The UK has a very big opportunity to become a better country, to create a better life for itself, for our people, for all of Europe.”
There is an argument to be made that there are many aspects of European integration that need to be overhauled.
The European Commission, for example, recently proposed that the UK should be granted “a special status” that allows it to be a “special observer state” in the EU’s internal affairs.
This would allow the UK to be treated as a member state, but with special powers and responsibilities, including the ability to veto legislation from the European Parliament.
And while this has been rejected by many countries, it is seen as a potential way for the UK government to claim greater powers in its dealings with Brussels.
And as the UK prepares to leave the European Economic Area, it will also need to decide how to deal with the impact of Brexit on its own future relationship with the world.
While this debate is likely to remain on the fringes of the debate, the issue is getting louder every day.
In this week’s edition of the Financial Times, the UK’s Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, is backing calls for the EU to be “rethink the European Council”.
“It’s time for Europe to think again about how it operates, and that means looking at the way we run the institutions and the way decisions are made,” he wrote.
“This is not about whether we’re a member or not, but how we do business.”
This article was amended on 28 February 2017.
An earlier version said that a study on the European parliament’s role had been completed.
This article has been updated to clarify that the research on the EU was not completed.