Author Archives: Andrew Bower

EU relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council: light at the end of the FTA tunnel?

22 years! 22 years have passed since the launch of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the European Union (EU) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Bolstered by the prospects of a first inter-regional trade agreement of its kind, both partiinto-the-tunneles entered negotiations in 1991 with great aspirations. Needless to say, both sides saw in this agreement invaluable economic opportunities; in a nutshell: Gulf countries looked to the EU as a major actor in international trade characterized by its strong and attractive common market with dollar-billed eyes; Europeans saw in the GCC a grouping of six Gulf countries so rich in energy reserves to make energy supply concerns a bad dream of the past. Continue reading

The Divine Path Towards IMF’s Money

BETWEEN PRAGMATISM, FEAR AND FAITH IN THE RELATIONS BETWEEN EGYPT AND THE WEST
by Romain Gustot

blog 5The revolution in Egypt has brought about some important changes in the relation between the new decision-makers and the international institutions. One of the best illustrations is the ever-changing attitude of the Egyptian government toward the EU and the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) money. On December 20th 2012, Egypt has finally committed itself to accept the $4.5 billion loans from the IMF in order to straighten its financial situation. Van Rompuy also announced last Sunday 13 January that the EU offers Egypt 5 billion euros ($6.7 billion) in grants and loans stressing that a deal with the IMF was a condition to trigger additional financial support.

This contribution was posted on the ARTE Blog; consult here

The Neighbours of the EU’s Neighbours: Diplomatic and Geopolitical Dimensions beyond the ENP

The first of two international conferences (15-16 November 2012), organised by the Department of EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies together with its TOTAL Chair of EU Foreign Policy, gathered scholars and practitioners from the EU and beyond to reflect on the European Union’s wider neighbourhood. This conference was organised with the financial support of the European Commission and TOTAL.

The concept of the ‘neighbours of the EU’s neighbours’ was introduced by the European Commission in 2006 in a Communication on ‘strengthening the European Neighbourhood Policy’ (ENP), in which it considered in particular the possibility to develop regional cooperation activities between partner countries (to be) included in the ENP framework on the one hand and Central Asia, the Arabian Gulf and Africa on the other. Continue reading

Digital Publics in Transnational Spaces: EU Blogs and the European Public Sphere

Dr. Georgios Papanagnou
Visiting Research at UNU-CRIS
Abstract of the UNU-CRIS Working Paper W2013/6

The paper presents the results of the empirical research conducted on the emerging EU-blogosphere and relates them to the Habermasian notion of the public sphere. Continue reading

The United States and the EU’s Broader Neighbourhood

The following offers a summary of the high-level lecture with Dr. Ian Lesser, Executive Director of the German Marshall Fund’s Transatlantic Center, organised by the Department of International Relations and Diplomacy Studies at the College of Europe on 25 October 2012.

Following a brief presentation of the German Marshall Fund, Ian Lesser introduced his lecture by emphasising that the United States (US), contrary to the European Union (EU), has a global power perspective on the Middle-Eastern and North African (MENA) regions. His remarks were subsequently structured around three main points. Continue reading