With the formation of the European Union, followed by positive developments witnessed until the advent of ‘Euro and Schengen’, the disposition of each element working independently was not in place; it rather operated on interests and clear agreements.
The steps were sustained after the establishment of the coal and steel agreements, and it remained coordinated as demanded by the political situation of that time until the European Union became what it is now. The account might be different based on the narrative of different times, although it remains a unique bloc with the ability to accomplish relative massive achievements. The Euro and Schengen are absolutely the most important of its achievements.
In the Gulf “Despisement” Council that started its activities in 1980s, member states have yet to make any achievement that is of essence to their nations, except few agreements, which each of the countries could have signed without necessarily joining any regional bloc. (In fact, allowing passage of GCC nationals with personal identities is the most important of the little achievements…)
This is a confirmation that the council consists of Gulf countries that cannot reach an agreement through institutional activities or a clearly specified system. It is rather an affair of each country warbling from outside the tunnel. Mutual struggle is the most prominent fact that the Council Secretary General is unable to play his role of dousing tension among member states, whether in the crisis of 2014 or the current one. The in-house crises among leaders are more than crises among countries!
Many people criticize what they described as “silence of the Secretary General Dr Abdul-Lateef Bin Rashid Al-Zayani to the escalating differences among member states and his failure to act positively and effectively to resolve the situation, so they consider the council as having no Secretary General”.
The truth of the matter is: the Secretary General is no more than a senior official whose prerogatives are limited to specific administration and protocol, so it is unfair to burden him beyond his prerogatives. For this reason, there no institutional solution is lacking for the crises among GCC countries.
The problems are now tilting toward ‘kinsfolk-based’ solutions rather political. It could have been built on the foundations and clauses of understanding clear to everybody, and it doesn’t matter whether the solutions are done publicly or in camera. The most essential part is that those solutions should be in line with generally acceptable rules.
The sustainability of any integral relationship is based on clarity and organized agreements. However, spontaneity and lack of clear vision cannot solve any problem or untie any lock. The kinsfolk’s solutions may be useful today, but it can’t guarantee a clear and convincing commitment.
“A state is better governed which has few laws, and those laws are strictly observed” (Rene Descartes).
By Yousef Awadh Al-Azmi