Is GUAM Really Only an “Organisation for Democracy and Economic Development” in The Black Sea Region?

By Assoc. Prof. Bayram Gungor | 01 April 2010

It is widely known that the most basic form of integrations is the cooperation agreements. However, cooperation agreements are different from the typical integration agreements in some respects. Cooperation agreements between two or more countries are identified by matters of mutually created concessions and can be terminated by either side. It is accepted that integrations which have various top institutions acting on behalf of participating countries are more powerful and irreversible after a certain stage. In the early 1950s, the theory of integration emerged in literature of economics. J. Viner was the first scholar who tried to create a theory of economic integration through the gains and losses of the customs union to the contracting parties’ production effects. The contribution of J. Meade in 1955 revealed the consumption effect of integration. The contributions and discussions continue within the framework of a new world order.

On one hand, the supranational organizations such as the World Trade Organization, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank Group aim to transform the world into a free market in which the factors of production move more freely than ever before, markets and ideologies of states converge with each other, barriers of trade are removed and country-specific discrimination is not on the agenda and policy recommendations are provided in this context, on the other hand, members of the same organizations, particularly developed countries are members of regional economic integrations such as EU, NAFTA, MERCOSUL and APEC which are shaped on the basis of protection and discrimination. The regional integrations which are more successful in international economic and political competition rather than economic development are controversial in the legal status of WTO.

The main goal of regional economic integration throughout the world is economic interests. However, foreign policy and security objectives are also seen in deepening the process of regional integrations. Therefore, the regional economic integrations should be assessed within not only a geo-economic but also geo-strategic respect. In this study, the GUAM (transport lines of energy resources from Central Asia and Caucasus to the West) is examined in detail. GUAM is situated in the Black Sea region and is perceived as a rival for the Russia Federation. Because of this, it is especially supported by the USA and EU overtly and covertly in financial, political and security contexts. The GUAM is also a strategic partner for Turkey with respect to the fact that they share the common opportunities and threats within the region.

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