The EU is building ties and wants to improve relations with the GCC countries, especially with the Saudi kingdom for its work on energy development and ecological transition

Saudi Arabia and Middle Eastern countries arouse European interest

photo_camera PHOTO/FILE - European Union Foreign Affairs and Security Policy spokesman Peter Stano

Peter Stano, the European Union's (EU) chief spokesperson, has given a press conference in Brussels where he announced that Europe is prepared to strengthen its relationship with some Middle Eastern countries, especially those belonging to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

According to the spokesman, the two organisations share common goals and he claims that improving the relationship between the two sides could be of great benefit to all citizens of these countries. The EU, in particular, would be interested in beginning to share ties with Saudi Arabia.

El presidente de Francia, Emmanuel Macron, saluda al príncipe heredero saudí, Mohammed bin Salman, a su llegada al Palacio del Elíseo, en París, el 28 de julio de 2022 AFP/BERTRAND GUAY

"The European Union, Saudi Arabia and all the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council share an interest in developing this relationship, our cooperation," Stano said. "Our partnership is one of the EU's objectives and we want to engage more, both with the GCC and with its member states, including Saudi Arabia," he continued.

The Saudi kingdom is of interest to EU member states. The spokesperson says that Europe is ready to take further steps towards a good relationship with Saudi Arabia and is interested in cooperation in various economic areas. Stano stresses that the Kingdom's energy and ecological transition projects are being highly valued internationally, and the country's potential is being highlighted, which is why Saudi Arabia is in the sights of the European organisation.

It is worth noting that Saudi Arabia is immersing itself in a revolutionary energy process. The Kingdom wants to decarbonise its industry and is developing renewable and sustainable projects that are changing its image for the better internationally. 

NEOM arabia saudi the line

A few years ago, the government launched an ambitious plan to tackle climate change and decarbonise the country. This was the National Renewable Energy Programme and, since then, the Saudi kingdom has been committed to photovoltaic energy and hydrogen. The latter is a great alternative to the use of hydrocarbons and can be used for any kind of transport. The country is building factories to obtain hydrogen, which would also allow it to enter a very new market.

It is also worth mentioning the Saudi Vision 2030 programme. This government strategy aims mainly to reduce the country's dependence on oil in order to diversify its economy in other sectors and promote other, more sustainable industries that will change the Kingdom's image for the better. 

NEOM arabia saudi the line

One of the projects under this programme is the futuristic eco-city of The Line. This city, whose design was recently announced and which is part of the NEOM project, promises to become an example for the development of other futuristic cities because of its environmental commitment. It is a complex that will run 100% on renewable energy and blend nature with urban planning to preserve the health of its inhabitants.

Europe can take advantage of the official visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the European continent to strengthen its relationship with the Kingdom. The prince has already visited Greece and France as part of his first tour of the Old Continent, where issues such as the recent energy crisis due to the blockade of Russia and other issues to strengthen bilateral relations have been discussed.

In Greece, the prince met with the Greek prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and his entire team. The meeting resulted in the signing of several agreements on military matters, investment, and science and technology. Other highlights include the creation of a mega-project to build an undersea data cable connecting Europe and Asia to supply the continent with clean, green energy, as well as the development of other projects related to green hydrogen.

El primer ministro griego Kyriakos Mitsotakis saluda al príncipe heredero saudí Mohammed bin Salman antes de su reunión en la oficina del primer ministro en Atenas el 26 de julio de 2022 AFP/YORGOS KARAHALIS

In France, Bin Salman met with French President Emmanuel Macron. The meeting also resulted in several energy cooperation pacts, showing that Europe is on the lookout for new and reliable partners.

The EU is at a crossroads because of tensions with Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. The Old Continent is in search of energy alternatives to cover Russian supplies, and countries such as Saudi Arabia seem to have much to offer.

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