Bridging the Gulf: EU-GCC Relations at a Crossroads
IAI Research Papers, March 2014
Relations 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 policy issues. This volume addresses the shortcomings and potential of EU-GCC relations by taking stock of their past evolution and by advancing policy recommendations as to how to revamp this strategic cooperation. In this light, 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 feature of the regional and international context that are likely to significantly influence the new phase in the mutual relation between the two blocs. The book is the result of the research conducted in the framework of the project ‘Sharaka – Enhancing Understanding and Cooperation in EU-GCC Relations’, co-funded by the European Commission.