Dr. Christian Koch as Director of the Gulf Research Center Foundation participated in the 2018 European Think Tank Summit held in Berlin, Germany and organized by the Think Tank and Civil Societies Program of the University of Pennsylvania and the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation. The summit was held under the theme of “Closing the Gap between Knowledge, Policy and Good Governance in the Digital Age.” In addition to policy-related discussions on future direction of Europe and transatlantic relations, the conference focused how think tanks should deal with the eras of digital and political disruptions, reaching policymakers and strategic communications, harnessing big data and artificial intelligence to enhance research and analysis, as well as sources and strategies for fundraising. The event brought together nearly one hundred participants representing a European as well as non-European think tanks.
Dr. Christian Koch participated in the roundtable discussion on “The Gulf Crisis – Political, Economic and International Implications” held by the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) in cooperation with the Oxford Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies Forum (OxGAPS) in Berlin. Bill Law, Director of Gulf Matters, Adel Hamaizia, Committee Vice-Chairman of OxGAPS, and Dr. Anna Sunik of the German Institute of Global and Area Studies provided brief presentation before an extensive period of discussion.
Dr. Christian Koch participated in a discussion with H.E. Mevlüt Çavuşolğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, held at the Körber Foundation in Berlin, Germany. Minister Çavuşolğlu spoke on regional issues such as Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen as well as focus on the German-Turkish relationship. The meeting was attended by about 35 representatives from the German policy community.
Dr. Christian Koch, Director the GRC Foundation, participated in the workshop on “Yemen: Charting a response to state fragmentation” held by the European Council on Foreign Relations and the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies in Berlin, Germany. The event brought together about 35 to 40 specialists to look into the growing fragmentation in Yemen and the possible responses of the international community.
Dr. Christian Koch gave a talk at the Emirates Diplomatic Academy in Abu Dhabi focusing on "European Diplomacy towards the Gulf Region" to an audience of approx. 30 participants. Dr. Koch outlined some the impediments that Europe faces when structuring its foreign policy approach to the Gulf region before highlighting specific examples such as Iran, Yemen, the Gulf crisis and Political Islam. Following the talk, Dr. Timo Behr of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the UAE provided some comments before holding a wider discussion with the attendees.