Jun 112014

Research Paper 14Relations between the European Union (EU) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are at a crossroads. After the derailment of the negotiations for the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in 2008, the cooperation between the two regional blocs has remained low-key in a number of different areas, while the unprecedented changes that have taken place in North Africa and the Middle East, the common neighbourhood of the EU and the GCC, have not led to a renewed, structured cooperation on foreign and security issues.

While EU-GCC relations chart their future course, the recently published Sharaka book addresses the shortcomings and potential of this strategic cooperation by taking stock of its past evolution and by advancing policy recommendations as to how to revamp it. It highlights the areas where greater room for manoeuvre exists in order to enhance EU-GCC relations, discusses the instruments available and sheds light on the features of the regional and international context that are likely to significantly influence the new phase in the cooperation between the two blocs.