EU-Gulf Monitor

EU institutions on the respect for human rights in GCC countries


Please find below listings of the statements published by EU institutions on the respect for human rights in GCC countries in the past period include:

Last update May 2019

EU Advocacy

The European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (ECDHR) advocates to preserve the EU’s role as the bastion of the protection of human rights in the world and monitors closely the development and implementation of EU’s own strategies, guidelines and legislation which affect the respect for human rights and freedoms internationally and particularly in its partner GCC countries.

EU-GCC relations

Official relations between the European Union and members of the Cooperation Council for Arab States of the Gulf (i.e. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain) are regulated by the 1988 Cooperation Agreement. The Agreement provides for annual joint councils/ministerial meetings between the EU and the GCC foreign ministers and for joint cooperation committees at senior official level.

EU has two EU Delegations in the region: one in Saudi Arabia accredited to five GCC countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia) and a second one in the United Arab Emirates which opened in 2013 and covers the United Arab Emirates.

The EU has also launched annual informal human rights dialogue with Bahrain (since 2016), the United Arab Emirates and Qatar (announced in June 2018).

The European Parliament has a Delegation for Relations with the Arab Peninsula (DARP) since 1979.

According to the official EU data the GCC is the EU’s fifth largest export market while the EU is GCC’s biggest trading partner.

The issue of the respect of human rights has always been a contentious one and different EU institutions, as well as individual member states, have on a number of occasions drawn attention to violations of fundamental human rights in some GCC countries.

For more Information about ECDHR, please contact us.