GCC and EU to undertake research

JEDDAH -The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the European Union are to undertake a major research project, the first of its kind focusing on the two regional blocs.

By (From our correspondent)

Published: Wed 6 Aug 2008, 11:19 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:49 AM

The project promoter Gulf Research Centre (GRC) has signed an agreement with the European Commission to work on this two-year project, which has been launched by the Gulf think tank with the aim to contribute to the policy making process of the GCC and EU and also to boost links between them.

“The research project, called ‘EU-GCC Al-Jisr Project for Public Diplomacy and Outreach,’ will mainly focus on the EU and GCC-EU relations,” Abdulaziz Sager, a Saudi businessman, who is the founder chairman GRC, an independent research institute, said in information made available to Khaleej Times.

Sager said that besides GRC, the project is composed and promoted by a consortium of both Gulf-based and European institutions including the Riyadh-based Institute of Diplomatic Studies (IDS), which works under the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and the Belgium-based Centre for European Policy Studies

Several other institutions, which will be associated with this research project, are the European Institute for Asian Studies (Belgium), the Arab Reform Initiative (France), Sciences Po (France), the Bertelsmann Foundation (Germany), the National Technical University of Athens (Greece), the Istituto Affari Internazionale (Italy), Kuwait University (Kuwait), and the Fundacion para la Relaciones Internacionales y el Dialogo Exterior, (FRIDE of Spain).

He explained that the GRC seeks to pursue politically neutral and academically sound research works on the GCC countries and disseminate their findings and knowledge as wide as possible.

This research project is significant keeping in view the progressively growing interdependent relation between the EU and GCC in different sectors including defence, oil, commerce, science and culture. But despite such relation, more than 40 million people living in the six Gulf States have little knowledge about various aspects of European life and its institutions. The 27-nation EU with a population of more than 500 million people is also the GCC’s close ally in different spheres.

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