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EU&Middle East - Essay Example

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The Key International Trading Factors Between The European Union And The Middle East Today, the European Union (EU) is the world’s biggest trader and one of the most significant organizations on the global economic stage. Each year the EU concludes a number of bilateral and multilateral agreements with several countries and regions around the world, spending approximately a billion Euros a month in assistance projects in all five continents…
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EU&Middle East
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Download file to see previous pages “According to a recent Euro barometer poll, only one third of people in the UK feel both British and European, while two thirds think of themselves as being just British” (Figel, p.3). Jean Monnet, one of the main founders of the European Union, agrees that the cultural differences impede the EU integration; “If I could seize a fresh opportunity for the political integration of Europe, I would start from culture and not from the economy” (Dudt, p.3). There are many several different religions in European countries, including Roman Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity, Protestantism, Sunni Islam, Shia Islam, Judaism and Buddhism. All of these religious entities are different in terms of their traditions, beliefs and ideologies, which has a great influence on the cultures and lifestyles of their followers. Roman Catholicism is the largest religion in Europe, with followers mostly in the countries of Latin Europe and Eastern Europe. Orthodox Christians are heavily populated in Rumania, Bulgaria, and Greece whereas Protestant Christians are found mainly in countries of Western Europe, including Denmark, Germany, Finland, Sweden etc. Despite these extreme cultural diversities, most of the European countries were able to assemble under the flag of EU, what enabled them to increase both the national economic growth and their bargaining power in the global trade activities. The countries of the Middle East, especially the Arab States of the Persian Gulf (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman), are traditionally goof trading partners of Europe. The Gulf Cooperation Council, a political and economic union which involves all the Gulf countries, is the EU’s fifth largest export market and the European Union is for the Gulf region the second most important trading partner (Gulf region, 2010). The statistics from 2009 reveal that the total EU trade with the Gulf cooperation council amounts to 79.7 billion euro. The EU’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which provides developing countries with reduced tariffs for their goods when entering the European market, enables all six Gulf countries to benefit from preferential access to the EU market (Gulf region, 2010). With the EU exports of goods to the Gulf region estimated at 57,8 billion euro, and EU import of goods estimated at 21.8 billion euro, both regions have developed an important economic partnership. Figure 1: GCC, Trade with the European Union Source: GCC, EU Bilateral Trade and Trade with the World, 2011. Figure 2: EU Trade with the World and EU Trade with the GCC (2009) Source: Source: GCC, EU Bilateral Trade and Trade with the World, 2011. Trade relations between the European Union and the Middle East, mostly Gulf countries, are affected by several economic, political, and cultural factors. This paper analyses the success and failures of EU’s trade tie ups with Middle East over the years. The trade relations between the European Union and the GCC date back to the mid-1980s. In1988, the two organizations signed the EU-GCC Cooperation Agreement, which aimed “ to strengthen relations between the European Economic Community and the Gulf Countries, to broaden and consolidate their economic and technical cooperation relations, and to help strengthen the process of economic development and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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