South Asian Regional Parliament: A European Model

February in Nepal has witnessed provincial parliaments meet up for the first time in history; after the left in Nepal rebounding as the new right, the argument for transformative governance systems cannot be more justified. The time is right for an extensive revision of how Nepalis or even South Asians should put their place in the world. How would a regional parliament fare; on the foundations of the European Parliament; where representatives would define new spheres of decision making for more than 20% of the world population.

The Right Model

Despite being home to democracies and alike; the state of affluent political oppositions in the continent-unquestionably dismisses political progress along the idea of a European Commission. European Council type of a design will not be feasible either- the citizenry will doubtlessly take it as another reinforcing institution of the status quo. There is however a scope for a middle ground; a regional parliament bringing together elected leaders from different provinces to not only work on regional but national issues as well. To compensate for any raised eyebrows from the hegemonic capital for power losses; here’s a solution-structuring it through two evolutionary phases. Until the trust-building and egoism matures in the Indian capital; a regional house can primarily focus on knowledge sharing and information channeling among themselves.


Exposure will be a blessing for the local leaders; coming from different corners of eight countries. Imagine what friendships, alliances and information sharing could lead to-a fusion of decision making inventories; without the burden of any political resentment. Transparency will follow and governments will promptly become accountable. Political interests will expand and will add new terrains for manipulations. Expect coercion settling in Afghanistan & Pakistan moving away from the fists of western interventionists. The price of commonly shared South Asian values will merge together with economic growth. Just like the EU, governance will be hierarchical; whilst also guaranteeing sovereignty, local leaders will challenge local malpractices. Taxpaying can result into a dynamic experience; while courts will conventionally adhere to regional sensitivity. A common foreign policy might be problematic to India & Pakistan; but South Asia will emerge as a single global actor with unique principles.

Investments will improve; enterprises in Nepal can apply for funds from Indian banks- resultantly bureaucracy will succumb at the expense of efficient competition. Interested nations will come up with economic packages that will be hard to turn away. New research avenues will ameliorate into technological advancements and the development of state of the art models. Immigration to cheap labor settings will decrease and local universities will prosper with regional applicants. A South Asian society will run on the ideals of preserving religion alongside development. It wouldn’t be incorrect to presume that the coalescing of otherwise contradictory values elsewhere in the world; can heal wounds at home.


The first phase towards contemplating such a parliament can begin easily via low delegation talks; foreign visits of goodwill like that practiced by the recently incoming Indian foreign minister; S.Swaraj can be utilized for such a cause. A regional decision-making body will be in the interest of all; co-incidentally along with Nepal now, all the nations already have provincial divisions in South Asia. A visionary group of like-minded governments will be necessary; but the trigger is on for a step into the future.

Sisir Devkota
Sisir Devkota
Global Affairs Analyst based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Founder, Trainer & Researcher at "The Protocol" which facilitates analytical research on current affairs and workshops on Diplomacy and Leadership. Masters of Social Science in Democracy & Global Transformations from the University of Helsinki, Finland. Author for a book chapter titled as "Armed Conflicts in South Asia 2013".