The European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council signed an Economic Cooperation Agreement in 1988 which laid the framework for the elaboration of a bilateral free trade agreement between the two regional blocs. Formal negotiations began in 1990 and are still not concluded.
While the EU has powerful economic interests in liberalising investment rules in the Gulf States, so that EU corporations may participate directly in the region’s oil, banking, telecoms, port services and other industries, political issues have been publically blamed for blocking agreement. These include demands from the EU with regards to fulfilling standards of democracy and human rights, as well as clauses on cooperation against terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Human rights groups, such as the International Federation for Human Rights, have urged the EU to insist on respect for freedom of press, women’s rights and labour rights of migrant workers in the Gulf countries in return for any trade concessions granted through the FTA.
At the end of 2008, the GCC formally announced it was suspending the trade talks due to the EU’s insistence on political demands.
last update: May 2012
Fair trade group calls for release of TPP text | 28-Oct-2014
#StopFastTrack of TPP: National Week of Action | 26-Oct-2014
Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November | 25-Oct-2014
Experts condemn possible TPP trade-offs as talks resume | 20-Oct-2014
TPP rallies in Canberra & Sydney | 20-Oct-2014
Madrid contra el TTIP y el Fracking | 17-Oct-2014
Hupacasath First Nation puts China on notice over FIPA | 16-Oct-2014
TTIP Day One | 16-Oct-2014
TTIP Jour Un | 16-Oct-2014
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: A brief history of an agenda for corporate plunder | 15-Oct-2014
Karel de Gucht mis en boîte par Fakir au sujet du TAFTA | 14-Oct-2014
31 ciudades del Estado español se suman a otras 300 europeas el 11-0 contra los peligrosos acuerdos comerciales de la UE | 9-Oct-2014