The Brookings Doha Center and FRIDE co-hosted a roundtable workshop on September 6 that was sponsored by the EU Global Re-ordering: Evolution through European Networks (GR:EEN) project and titled "The EU and the Gulf after the Arab Spring: Strategic Partners?" The event featured three sessions, which dealt with reform and foreign policy in the Arab world and elements of strategic partnership between the European Union and the Gulf. The private event was convened according to Chatham House Rule, and so the names of participants have been eliminated from the below program. A full write-up of the event is to follow.
09:30 Opening remarks
09:45 Session 1: Geopolitical challenges after the 'Arab Spring'
- How have the 2011 democratic uprisings and the ensuing changes of government shifted the balance of power in the region? What is the impact of the 'Arab Spring' on existing geopolitical challenges? Which new challenges and opportunities has it triggered?
11:15 Coffee break
11:30 Session 2: Political reform and domestic drivers of foreign policy
- What is the state of 'political reform' in the GCC countries? What are the links between domestic attitudes in these states and their foreign policy, now that foreign policy is becoming less insulated from public opinion?
14:30 Session 3: The EU and the Gulf: elements of strategic partnerships
- As the region's power center is moving to the Gulf, the European Parliament has underlined the need for the EU to broaden and deepen its relations with the GCC countries. Which are the elements of common interest such a strategic partnership could build on? How could deeper EU-Gulf ties help strengthen security, prosperity, and democracy governance in the region?
16:00 Concluding remarks
16:30 End of roundtable