EduBourseActualitésCommissioners Ferrero-Waldner and Mandelson to meet Gulf Co-operation Council in Bahrain, 5...

Commissioners Ferrero-Waldner and Mandelson to meet Gulf Co-operation Council in Bahrain, 5 April 2005

Foreign Ministers from the European Union and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, hold their annual meeting on 5th April in Manama, Bahrain. They will exchange views on reinforcing Euro-Gulf relations. Ministers are expected to launch joint initiatives in the political, economic and social/cultural fields. They are also expected to agree on the way forward for EU-GCC Free Trade Area negotiations with the aim of concluding them at the earliest opportunity. Ministers will also discuss regional issues of joint interest such as developments in Iraq, EU negotiations with Iran, prospects for the Middle East Peace Process and Saudi Arabian accession to the WTO. Reflecting the importance the European Commission attaches to the region, the Commission will be represented at the Ministerial by Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Commissioner for Trade Peter Mandelson.

On the eve of her trip, Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner said: “This is an important meeting for us. The EU is committed to strengthening relations with the region, and I believe that both sides are now ready to open up new areas for co operation. We need to identify specific initiatives in the political, economic and social fields and I am looking forward to making some concrete proposals to my GCC colleagues”

Commissioner Mandelson, who will spend the weekend meeting Trade Ministers in Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in advance of the Ministerial said: “The EU is a firm supporter of regional economic integration among the Gulf States, both as a means to greater regional prosperity and the basis of deeper and wider commercial relations with the EU. The EU and the GCC are steadily getting closer to a Free Trade Agreement that will be an important prize for both sides.”

The EU is seeking to enhance cooperation activities with the GCC in the framework of the Strategic Partnership for the Mediterranean and the Middle East approved by the European Council in June 2004. It is a central and distinctive principle of this policy that the partnership should support countries’ own efforts for political and economic reforms. At the recent (March 2005) meeting of the EU-GCC Joint Co-operation Committee, it was agreed that co-operation activities should be reinforced in a small number of priority areas. Both sides are actively engaged in identifying other options for joint action.

In the field of trade, successful negotiations for an EU-GCC Free Trade Agreement (FTA) would create one of the first ever region-to-region FTAs. Talks made good progress during 2004, and the Commission remains committed to making similar progress in 2005.

The EU strongly supports the Gulf countries’ regional integration process. The Union has a wealth of experience of building co-operation between neighbours, and is willing, if the GCC so wishes, to share its experience to help build co operation in the region in the interests of promoting prosperity and stability

For more information on EU- GCC political and trade relations:

Pierre Perrin-Monlouis
Pierre Perrin-Monlouis
Fondateur de Rente et Patrimoine (cabinet de gestion de patrimoine), Pierre Perrin-Monlouis est un analyste et trader pour compte propre. Il vous fait profiter de son expérience en trading grâce à ses analyses financières et décrypte pour vous les actualités des marchés. Son approche globale des marchés combine à la fois l'analyse technique et l'analyse fondamentale sur l'ensemble des marchés : crypto, forex, actions et matières premières.