The Gulf “Coordination” Rather Than “Cooperation” Council: the Challenges of Shaping a Union Before the Member Countries

The GCC has achieved various successes since its inception in 1981, and in principle it has developed from a security and military union to economic integration, embodied in a customs union, a single market, and a tangible plan for launching monetary union. Today, some of the member countries strive to upgrade the relationship from cooperation to full-fledged union, especially in the economic, defense, and foreign policy domains. The dream of a union offers an opportunity to realize large and unprecedented benefits for the GCC countries. However, even among the relatively enthusiastic countries, there is a belief that it is possible to forge a union that does not impinge upon the independence and sovereignty of the member states, and without exposing the smaller states to hegemony from the larger ones.

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