The COVID-19 Outbreak: Implications for relations between Europe and the Gulf

In this research paper, the Bussola Institute provides an overview of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Europe and the Gulf region and analyses some of the key implications, both regionally and globally, of this global pandemic. In both regions, various mitigation and containment policies have been put in place.  However, at the time of writing, there is no clear indication of how swiftly the various policies will take effect or how long the various restrictions now being imposed will remain in place.  The paper therefore focuses on some of the likely medium-term consequences of current pandemic interventions, and their potential implications in  both Europe and the Gulf.

The primary focus of the paper is on the economic issues that will inevitably have to be addressed as societies in both regions  start to regain their momentum and try to avoid a prolonged period of downturn.

The paper also considers some of the other repercussions that may arise from the immediate measures being taken to overcome COVID-19 and consider them in the wider context of the EU-GCC relationship. With the international order already in a state of transition, and characterised by persistent volatility, the coronavirus crisis is likely to cast a further shadow across an array of matters pertaining to regional and international security. This is particularly the case as domestic concerns take precedence, and international crisis management and conflict resolution mechanisms become lesser priorities. As the paper argues, these too are likely to have significant implications for policymaking in both Europe and the Gulf.

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