The EU-GCC Dialogue on Economic Diversification project initiated its activities in April 2018. Its overall objective is to contribute to a stronger EU-GCC relationship by supporting the GCC countries’ ongoing process of economic diversification, away from hydrocarbon dependent sectors. The project seeks to consolidate EU’s position as a partner of choice for GCC countries for cooperation on economic diversification strategies, macroeconomic stability, trade and investment and research and innovation. The specific objective of the project is to promote climate-friendly trade, investment and economic affairs-related policy analysis, dialogue and cooperation between stakeholders from EU and GCC at both regional and country levels in the context of the GCC economic diversification process. Besides supporting the formal government to government dialogues, the project engages in several other activities such as policy analysis, dissemination of information, exchanges between a variety of public and private stakeholders, organization of business fora etc. The project will facilitates EU’s engagement both on a regional as well as bilateral level with each of the six-member countries of the GCC.
As part of this project, CEPS has notably produced a “Study of EU policies and projects in the ‘Circular Economy’ and an assessment of their potential relevance and applicability to GCC members countries” from June 2020 to January 2021.
Implementing the 2015 Circular Economy Action Plan has accelerated the transition towards a circular economy in Europe, transition which will be further enhanced and developed by its 2020 successor. Given the global scale of environmental challenges, there is an opportunity to use the EU experience and expertise to work with GCC member countries on both the country level and the GCC Secretariat level to accelerate their progress in adopting and implementing Circular Economy policies and projects and in the process generating commercial opportunities for EU businesses particularly SMEs.
In this context, CEPS researchers have reviewed the current Circular Economy policy frameworks in two contrasting GCC countries, including new initiatives and potential increased focus in this area due to COVID-19. Based on the EU best practices in this area, the study will provide recommendations on how the cooperation between the EU and the GCC countries in the field of circular economy can be enhanced.