Oct 252013

Sharaka Research PapersSharaka Research Paper nr.5

by Rym Ayadi and Salim Gadi

The EU and the GCC formalised their relations in 1988 with the signature of a Cooperation Agreement and the engagement in negotiations for an FTA. Despite an ambitious framework, however, political and economic relations remain limited, as evidenced by the failure to conclude the FTA. Against this backdrop, and with the growing importance of the Gulf region’s trade and investment relations with Europe and the geopolitical outlook for the Arab world, this paper analyses EU-GCC trade and investment patterns over the last two decades. The paper starts by providing a summary of EU-GCC relations. In the second section, it reviews patterns in bilateral trade and foreign direct investment, and goes on to assess both parties’ interests and potential gains from concluding an FTA. Finally, it asks whether a free trade deal between the regions is likely and suggests possible avenues for strengthening economic and political cooperation.

Oct 162013

The European Union (EU) and the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have sought to improve their relations in various sectors ranging from economic cooperation to energy, environment and scientific research. However, huge scope remains for much closer and vigorous cooperation on security issues.

The Sharaka Regional Security Conference, organised in cooperation with Qatar University – Gulf Studies Program at the College of Arts and Science, will provide the platform for a fruitful exchange of views on EU-GCC security cooperation. In light of the common challenges of energy and food security, the conflict in Syria and the fragile transition in Yemen, joint cooperation between the EU and the GCC is badly needed. The conference will bring together academics and scholars, officials and politicians, as well as civil society actors from the EU, the GCC and other Arab countries to debate these issues and to advance policy recommendations. The conference will take place on 28-29 October in Doha, Qatar.