Relations between the Gulf countries and the European Union have been tested by the events of the Arab Spring. Despite an alignment of interests on several fronts – from Syria to Yemen – the looming question of internal reform within the Gulf itself presents a growing challenge for EU-GCC ties. This comes alongside a range of other dilemmas, from disagreements within each bloc to the historic strength of bilateral over multilateral relations. What, then, are the prospects for a more strategic partnership between the European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council in the aftermath of the Arab Spring?
A new joint paper published by the Brookings Doha Center and FRIDE, Toward a Strategic Partnership? The EU and the GCC in a Revolutionary Middle East, explores the ties between the two blocs as they struggle to respond to the seismic changes affecting the region.
The paper draws on a roundtable discussion held at the Brookings Doha Center, with the support of the European Commission, which brought together academics, researchers, and diplomats from the Gulf region, the European Union, and the United States. It finds that despite a range of significant challenges, opportunities remain for a more substantive relationship between the EU and the GCC that furthers mutual interests while contributing toward more meaningful reform within the Gulf.
[Trump] didn't say one word about Ukraine and he had to be briefed on this stuff. The only person to say that the United States says the annexation of Crimea wasn't legal and disagrees with Russia was the president of Russia. The overall contrast [with Trump's criticisms of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Theresa May, and the EU earlier in the trip] coupled with Trump's inability to say Russia had done anything to contribute to the downturn of US-Russia relations, either way it's scary. Either he forgot there's a problem or he wasn't willing. He would have had no problem listing his grievances against Germany, but against Putin, he's not capable of saying anything.