Expanding EU-GCC Collaboration: Muscat hosts second diplomatic training on EU Policies and Decision-Making

Fostering deeper understanding and collaboration between the EU and the Gulf nations

Muscat, 1st October 2023 – Today marks the commencement of the second training on EU policies and decision-making for diplomats from Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the Secretariat General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Hosted at the prestigious Diplomatic Institute of Oman in Muscat, this programme highlights the increasing importance and interconnectedness of EU-GCC diplomatic relations.

The European Union Delegation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman is organising this event in collaboration with the Diplomatic Institute of Oman, Prince Saud Al-Faisal Institute for Diplomatic Studies in Saudi Arabia and Mohamed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa Academy of Diplomatic Studies in Bahrain. The training sessions will be delivered by Clingendael, the Netherlands Institute of International Relations, and will run from 1 to 5 October 2023 at the Diplomatic Institute of Oman.

Building on the remarkable success of the previous session in Riyadh and a highly productive study visit to key EU institutions in Brussels in October 2022, this week-long programme aims to foster a comprehensive understanding of the European Union’s institutions and decision-making processes, with a particular focus on the EU’s external engagement with GCC countries. The programme is also designed to familiarise participants with key EU policies, such as EU-GCC cooperation on energy, critical technologies and renewable energy, the EU Green Deal, EU security as well as policies related to the digital sector.

Speaking ahead of the event, H.E. Mr. Christophe Farnaud, EU Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman, said: “Building bridges between the EU and GCC is more crucial than ever. This training programme demonstrates our joint commitment to advance EU-GCC relations. We believe enhancing understanding of the workings of the European Union – a political and economic union that brings together 27 Member States and nearly 450 million citizens – will contribute to this objective of enhancing mutual understanding with our partners in the Gulf region. I wish the participants a very insighful week of training.”

H.E. Dr. Zainab Ali Saeed Al Qasmi, Head of the Omani Diplomatic Institute, added: “Strengthening the ties between the Gulf nations and the European Union is of vital importance to our region. Our participation in this training is a tangible evidence of our commitment not only to enhance our understanding of the European Union but also to further strengthen our bonds of common respect and shared objectives”.

The training will conclude with an award ceremony where certificates will be presented to the participants.

This training is held in accordance with the Joint Communication on a Strategic Partnership with the Gulf, the EU’s long-term blueprint aiming to broaden and deepen the EU’s cooperation with the Gulf Cooperation Council and its Member States. The Communication, introduced in May 2022, presents concrete proposals to strengthen cooperation on energy, green transition and climate change, trade and economic diversification, regional stability and global security, humanitarian and development challenges, women and youth empowerment and facilitate closer people-to-people contacts.

About the European Union Delegation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman

The Delegation of the European Union to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman opened in Riyadh in 2004. It represents the European Union to the GCC Secretariat and 3 of the 6 countries of the GCC, namely: Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia. The EU Delegation plays a crucial role in fostering bilateral dialogue and cooperation between the EU and Oman in areas of mutual strategic interest. Some of these areas are higher education, technical and vocational education and training (TVET), climate change and renewable energies, investment, aviation and blue economy, among others. Moreover, there is a significant emphasis on fostering people-to-people exchanges to enhance understanding of the EU among local audiences and strengthen bilateral ties. The Delegation also represents the EU in international organisations, promotes EU values, engages with civil society and media, coordinates with EU country embassies, and carries out press and public diplomacy activities to support EU policies and interests.

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