The Sharaka project held its final conference on 12 November. Participants comprising the Sharaka project members, scholars, policy-makers and representatives of the civil society gathered in Muscat, Oman, to discuss the latest, most strategic developments in the troubled yet pivotal relation between the European Union (EU) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The aim of the conference, as implied in the event’s title “Learning from the Past, Looking at the Future”, was to take stock of the progress achieved in EU-GCC relations over the past 30 years and to assess the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
The EU and the GCC have sought to broaden their cooperation to a number of sectors ranging from trade to energy, environment protection and scientific research. However, huge scope remains for much closer and vigorous cooperation in the field of security, particularly in light of the common challenges lying ahead, such as energy and food security, the conflict in Syria and the fragile transition in Yemen.
Bearing these challenges in mind, the Sharaka project and its partners from Qatar University (Gulf Studies Program at the College of Arts and Science) organised a two-day event to provide the platform for a fruitful debate, during which lessons learned were exchanged between academics and scholars, officials and politicians, as well as civil society actors from the EU, the GCC and other Arab countries. The “EU-GCC Regional Security Cooperation – Lessons Learned and Future Challenges” conference took place at Qatar University on 28-29 October 2013.
The Sharaka project organised two outreach and dissemination events on the issue of EU-GCC energy cooperation in the Gulf from 27 to 30 October.
The main aims of these two workshops were:
- to present the findings of the Technical Report on EU-GCC cooperation on Energy, prepared by OME;
- to discuss the main priorities, challenges and opportunities for enhanced cooperation in the various technological fields (fossil fuels, renewable energy, energy efficiency, water desalination) with key experts from the Gulf region, namely from Qatar and Kuwait; and
- to identify key areas for further win-win cooperation between the EU and the GCC countries.
The session was opened by a presentation delivered by Dr. Emanuela Menichetti, Director of the Renewable Energy Division at OME, followed by a panel discussion with selected experts.
The first workshop took place in Doha on 27 October 2013 and was hosted by the Hamad bin Khalifa University.
The second workshop was held in Kuwait City on 30 October 2013 and was hosted by the Environment Public Authority of Kuwait.