The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) brings together six Arab countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates – to further political and economic integration amongst them. The GCC launched for example a common market in 2008 and a patent office in 1992.
EU – GCC cooperation agreement
The EU first established bilateral relations with the GCC in 1988, through a Cooperation Agreement. The agreement brings together EU and GCC foreign ministers every year for meetings. Other senior officials, including energy experts, also meet in joint cooperation committees.
EU-GCC energy expert group
Energy is a key element of EU relations with the Gulf countries. The Gulf holds almost a third of the world's oil reserves. In recent years, efforts have been made to develop cooperation going beyond the traditional trading relationship between consumers and suppliers. Cooperation has been extended to include areas like energy technology, sharing expertise on the regional integration of energy markets, renewables, energy efficiency, carbon capture and storage, and sustainable use of gas.
To this end, an EU-GCC energy expert group was created and meets regularly:
2016 summary of the meeting of the Energy Experts Group
2015 summary of the meeting of the Energy Experts Group
2013 summary of the meeting of the Energy Experts Group
2010 meeting of the Energy Experts Group
2009 meeting of the Energy Experts Group
EU-GCC Clean energy technology network
An EU-GCC Clean Energy Network also operated, in the first phase, between 2010 and 2013. The network picked up cooperation for a second phase, between 2016 and 2018.