EU relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

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  • 25/09/2014
    614 65744 1 _blank Statement by the Spokesperson on the upcoming parliamentary elections in Bahrain Statement by the Spokesperson on the upcoming parliamentary elections in Bahrain

    We welcome His Majesty King Hamad’s announcement regarding the holding of parliamentary elections in Bahrain on 22 November 2014 and express our hope that all political actors representing the diversity of Bahraini society will participate in the electoral process.

    /statements/docs/2014/140925_02_en.pdf
    09/25/2014 17:06:00 09/25/2014 17:06:00 09/25/2014 17:06:00 nulldate 2014092517 <p>European External Action Service</p> 090126248cad2f01 N 090126248cad2f01 /statements/docs/2014/140925_02_en.pdf 477820 pdf Y /statements/docs/2014/140925_02_en.pdf 2 /statements/docs/2014/140925_02_en.pdf /statements/docs/2014/140925_02_fr.pdf /statements/docs/2014/140925_02_zz.pdf N ID_INTERNAL N N
    Statement by the Spokesperson on the upcoming parliamentary elections in Bahrain pdf - 467 KB [467 KB] français (fr)
  • 21/08/2014
    538 65744 1 _blank Statement by the Spokesperson on the murder of US journalist James Foley Statement by the Spokesperson on the murder of US journalist James Foley

    We strongly condemn the outrageous murder of the US journalist James Foley by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. We express our sincere condolences to the family of this distinguished journalist, to his friends and colleagues.

    This brutal act, like the many other human rights violations which are perpetrated by the Islamic State, denies universally recognized values and rights, including the freedom of press for which Mr Foley had risked his life on several occasions. The EU will continue to promote the safety of journalists in the Middle-East and worldwide.

    /statements/docs/2014/140821_01_en.pdf
    08/21/2014 15:32:00 08/21/2014 15:32:00 08/21/2014 15:32:00 nulldate 2014082115 <p>European External Action Service</p> 090126248c81305e N 090126248c825ec0 /statements/docs/2014/140821_01_en.pdf 178636 pdf Y /statements/docs/2014/140821_01_en.pdf 2 /statements/docs/2014/140821_01_en.pdf /statements/docs/2014/140821_01_fr.pdf /statements/docs/2014/140821_01_zz.pdf N ID_INTERNAL N N
    Statement by the Spokesperson on the murder of US journalist James Foley pdf - 175 KB [175 KB] français (fr)
  • 10/08/2014
    528 65744 1 _blank Statement on the deterioration of the situation in Iraq Statement on the deterioration of the situation in Iraq /statements/docs/2014/140810_01_en.pdf 08/10/2014 14:37:00 08/10/2014 14:37:00 08/10/2014 14:37:00 nulldate 2014081014 <p>European External Action Service</p> 090126248c6eb8d7 N 090126248c6eb8d7 /statements/docs/2014/140810_01_en.pdf 114094 pdf Y /statements/docs/2014/140810_01_en.pdf 2 /statements/docs/2014/140810_01_en.pdf /statements/docs/2014/140810_01_fr.pdf /statements/docs/2014/140810_01_zz.pdf N ID_INTERNAL N N
    Statement on the deterioration of the situation in Iraq pdf - 112 KB [112 KB] français (fr)

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Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC)Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC)

The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (often referred to as the GCC, but officially known as the CCASG) is a regional organisation, with six members: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Set up in 1981, its objectives are to enhance coordination, integration and inter-connection among its members. All GCC members are also members of the Arab League and Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates are prominent members of OPEC.

Political relations

The EU established bilateral relations with the GCC countries through the 1988 Cooperation Agreement, intended to:

  • strengthen stability in a region of strategic importance;
  • facilitate political and economic relations;
  • broaden economic and technical cooperation;
  • broaden cooperation on energy, industry, trade and services, agriculture, fisheries, investment, science, technology and environment.

The Agreement provides for annual joint councils/ministerial meetings (between the EU and the GCC foreign ministers), and for joint cooperation committees at senior official level.

The Agreement allowed for the development of closer cooperation on issues such as energy, transport, research and innovation, and the economy.

The most recent EU-GCC ministerial meeting took place in Manama, Bahrain, on 30 June 2013, co-chaired by the EU High Representative-Vice President Ashton and Bahraini Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa.

The EU Delegation in Saudi Arabia is accredited to five GCC countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia). A second EU Delegation opened in Abu Dhabi in the second half of 2013 and covers the United Arab Emirates.

Trade

The GCC is the EU's fifth largest export market (€95 bn of exports in 2013), and the EU is the grouping's biggest trading partner, with trade flows totalling €152 billion, or 13% of the GCC's global trade.

The 1988 Cooperation Agreement contained a commitment from both sides to enter into negotiations on a free trade agreement. Negotiations have started and been suspended several times since 1990. Negotiations resumed in March 2002, but were suspended by the GCC in 2008. Further informal contacts have taken place ever since. The EU remains committed to concluding the agreement.

Industrialised and High-Income Countries Instrument (ICI)

The EU's ICI fund for cooperation with high-income countries is the framework for financial cooperation between the EU and the Gulf region (and other high-income countries). Amongst other projects, the ICI has financed the EU-GCC Clean Energy Network for cooperation among various players in the EU and GCC on clean energy.