Dr. Christian Koch participated in the workshop on “Middle Eastern Geopolitics and the EU’s Global Strategy Review” held by the European Council on Foreign Relations in London. The meeting brought together a number of EU policy officials and experts from throughout Europe to discuss current developments in the Middle East and how these should feature in the new EU Global Strategy Review document to be released later in 2016.
Dr. Christian Koch, Director of the Gulf Research Center Foundation, made an interview with Swiss Radio on the situation in the GCC states and the GCC Summit meeting in Riyadh. The entire interview in German can be found under the following link:
Dr. Oskar Ziemelis, GRC Director of Cooperation and Ms. Kapasi, GRC Administration Manager represented the GRC Foundation at the INCONET-GCC2 project international conference entitled Collaboration for Innovation: Linking GCC and EU, which took place in Muscat, Oman on 6-8 December 2015. The overall goal of the INCONET-GCC2 project, in which the GRC Foundation is a consortium member, is to support the GCC-EU policy dialogue in Science, Technology and Innovation, and to strengthen GCC-EU cooperation among research and innovation actors, especially in the context of the Horizon 2020 program. Dr. Ziemelis and Ms. Kapasi also participated in the Project Control Board meeting which took place on 9 December 2015 at The Research Council in Muscat to finalize plans for the final year of the INCONET-GCC2 project.
Dr. Christian Koch, Director of the Gulf Research Center Foundation, spoke at a meeting organized by the European Parliament's Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula on the topic "Regional impact of the Iran nuclear deal". When Iran and the P5+1 signed on July 14 in Vienna the joint comprehensive plan of action to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue, Dr. Koch pointed out that the GCC foreign ministers welcomed the agreement stating that once implemented, the deal would contribute to the region's security. He also stressed, however, that there are some fundamental reservations in the Gulf region about the deal itself, which are related to the actual implementation that the GCC states believe will still prove to be difficult. Additional information about the presentation can be found under: http://www.gulfinthemedia.com/index.php?id=769371&news_type=Top&lang=en
Dr. Christian Koch participated in the international symposium entitled “On the Road to a Foreign Policy of Societies – the strategic dialogue between Foreign Office and foundations” held at the German Foreign Office in Berlin. German Foreign Minister Steinmeier held the opening address in which he highlighted the important role of foundations and NGOs in the overall policy process. Proper governance, an active private sector and a vibrant civil society were highlighting as the three components of a viable and sustainable society. The conference dealt with topics such as creating multi-sectoral networks, regional solutions for regional problems, culture and scientific research in a time of crisis, and foreign policy as a public good. The conference was attended by nearly 200 representatives from foundations, non-governmental organizations and think tanks.
The Gulf Research Center participated in the 6th Berlin Foreign Policy Forum organized by the Körber Foundation and held in Berlin, Germany. Discussions were held on “Crisis as a New Normal? Perspectives of German and European Foreign Policy”, the Role of Russia, Asia’s Role in Global Security Challenges, and US Foreign Policy after the Election. A debate was conducted on the question of whether the nuclear deal with Iran makes the Middle East more unstable in the long run. Dr. Christian Koch, Director of the GRC Foundation also spoke in the breakout session of Security in the Gulf region.