Toward a Gulf “Single Entity”: A Conversation with Jane Kinninmont
SUSRIS | Pat Ryan | 7.26.12
The idea of deepening the co-operation and integration between GCC states has been around since the very beginning of the organization, over thirty years ago. It’s in the GCC’s founding charter. These longstanding ideas have been given greater urgency owing to the events of the past year and a half in the region – especially the revolution in Egypt and the growing tensions with Iran.
These political developments have changed the focus of GCC integration efforts. For the past few years, most of the focus had been on economic integration, with the establishment of a customs union and plans to develop this into a common market with a unified currency. These efforts were generally supported by the Gulf private sector and by the economic policy technocrats. Since 2011, however, the GCC has focused much more on foreign policy, defence and security. The GCC was first formed after the Iranian revolution and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and it makes sense for there to be additional incentives to pull together when there is a shared perception of common threats.