Despite this noticeable difference between the EU and the GCC, the former can still share its experience on enhancing the performance of regional agencies, managing the adjustment costs created by reducing barriers, and achieving integration, with the Arab world.
The Arab and European countries meeting correspondingly in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the European Union (EU), while having crucial political and strategic commonalities, have generated markedly different wide-ranging pattern of strategic relations and issues in the last two to three decades.1 Both have particular interests in their corresponding region, on the one hand, and tremendously important global alliances, on the other. Nevertheless, it is unquestionable that the GCC countries have progressed globally more than the EU, particularly on political status, whilst the EU has concentrated on its region and organised its regional structure far more radically than the GCC.2 Ultimately, whilst both the EU and the GCC countries have a critical, but distinct security and political relations with the United States, the latter are at present basically directed towards Asia from a strategic framework, whilst the EU is directed towards its own region and North America3, with the GCC serving an absolutely more isolated role.
Nevertheless, argument for the EU as an exemplar for other regional integration contexts could be restricted, given the distinctive conditions in which it was built and endorsed. Founded due to conflicts, the EU gained from particular events in its expansion, such as the developed character of the European economies, the United States pledge and fostering role, and the Cold War, which are not located anywhere else.4 It would hence appear more relevant to apply the experience of EU not as a blueprint or paradigm to evaluate the failure or success of the GCC regional integration