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مجلس ”التنسيق“ وليس ”التعاون“: تحدّيات الاتحاد أمام الدول الأعضاء

Al-Ubaydli, Omar (2014): مجلس ”التنسيق“ وليس ”التعاون“: تحدّيات الاتحاد أمام الدول الأعضاء. Published in: مجلة السياسة الدولية No. 196 (April 2014)

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The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has progressed substantially since its inception in 1981, and it has developed from defense and military cooperation to economic integration, such as the customs union, the single market, and firm plans for monetary union. Some of the member states are currently aiming to evolve the relationship from cooperation into a potentially complete union, especially in the economic, defense, and foreign policy domains. The dream of union has the potential to confer significant and unprecedented benefits upon the Gulf countries. However, among the relatively enthusiastic states, there exists a supposition that it is possible to forge a union that does not impinge upon the independence and sovereignty of the member countries, and without the larger countries dominating the smaller ones.

This principle is fundamentally incorrect and unrealistic. The reason is that a functioning union is based on the principle of realizing a collective goal even, if it contradicts a member's short term interests. In fact the prevalence of this erroneous mindset explains the failure to realize a substantial return on Gulf economic projects, and it also threatens the success of the single currency. If the Gulf countries want to seriously consider the idea of a political union, they need to fundamentally change the GCC and their own views on the requirements for constructive interaction. The European experience, as embodied in the European Union (EU), is a useful source of information and recommendations on the best way to realize the ambitious and promising project of political union.

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