Brief comparison and relation between European Union (EU) and The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)


European Union – EU
recently, moves towards regional integration have been more and more important, with countries seeking to strengthen their power with other countries.
In Europe, when the Treaty on the European Union took effect in November 1993, EU is good example of real integration in this era, perhaps differences and conflicts become strength to create union, after World War 2 (1939 to 1945) which is almost 50 years ago before EU has been created, the point is time is one of the main factors that lead to integrations.
Integration or co-operation begins with economic integration and as it continues, comes to include political integration European Union has been the unique form of collective governance among regional and international field, moreover social factors and languages was not as an obstacles.

The Gulf Cooperation Council – GCC
The Gulf Cooperation Council consists of the following six Arab countries: Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). These countries share historical and cultural ties and aspire to develop a more diversified economic bloc over time. In 2007, they had a population of about 36 million (10 percent of MENA) and a GDP of about US$ 826 billion (half that of all MENA) the social and political backgrounds of GCC countries exhibit many similarities. All GCC Countries are traditional monarchies, with the state playing a visible role in economic activity also similar economic policies among GCC countries largely reflect their common circumstances these commonalities include open economies with free trade and capital movements and an exchange rate pegged to the US dollar.

Integration with the Arab World
The GCC states are active members of PAFTA, which was established in 1997 under the auspices of the Arab League and went into effect in 2005. The current membership of PAFTA includes 18 of 22 Arab countries.

Relations with the European Union
Efforts to integrate with the EU have moved slowly. The first major milestone of EU-GCC engagement came under the 1989 Cooperation Agreement, which set the stage for cooperation in various fields and for negotiations on a free trade agreement, which continues to be unrealized. In 2003/2004.
The EU declared its intention to link EU-GCC cooperation with its broader (and more ambitiously pursued) Euro-med dialogue, but this has not been implemented vigorously.


The GCC made good progress on regional integration since its establishment in 1981. Integration efforts have gained following the ratification of the Unified Economic Agreement in 2001, the signing of the Customs Union Agreement in 2003, and the adoption of the Common Market Agreement in 2008. Under the Customs Union Agreement, member countries have eliminated intraregional tariffs, unified external tariffs, and eased trade restrictions, bringing about a notable increase in the value of goods traded among member states.

Result / potential of GCC Real integration
·         Increased returns and increased competition.
·         Regional trade Investment.
·         Bargaining power.
·         Security.

1.   Regional Arrangements in the Arabian Gulf – Carnegie.
2.  Indicators of Regional Integration: Methodological Issues.
3.  The modest Progress of Arab Integration, or why some Arab Countries have integrated more with Europe than with their Neighbours – Dr. Wolfgang Zank





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