Kirchner, Emil J. (2006) The European Union as a Model for Regional Integration: The Muslim World and Beyond. Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series Vol. 6 No. 1 January 2006. [Working Paper]
[From the introduction]. Yet while such grandiose attempts as the United Arab Republic, the United Arab States and the Arab Union have failed, there have been several efforts, whether regional or sub-regional, which look promising. These include the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA), the Arab Cooperation Council, and the United Arab Emirates. Moreover, there have also been joint attempts by Arab, at least by the large oil suppliers, to have a collective effect, or more precisely a crippling economic impact, on the countries of the EU. This was noticeable with regard to the formation of OPEC, in which Arab oil-producing countries played a significant role. But this might be seen more as a “co-ordination” rather than as an integration effort. Why have the more grandiose Arab integration attempts not succeeded and the more modest efforts succeeded? What lessons can be drawn from European integration or in what way is EU integration instructive for policy and institutional developments in the Arab region?1 In trying to find answers to these questions, an attempt will be made first to consider the concept of regionalism in the European and Arab setting. After this, the conditions deemed essential for the success of regional integration will be considered.
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