Qatar University’s (QU) Gulf Studies Center (GSC) organised a lecture on “The Gulf Seen from the European Union: Time for Change”.
The guest speaker of the event was Prof Jesús A Nunez Villaverde and moderated by GSC Director, Dr. Mahjoob Al Zuwairi. It was attended by a number of university officials and students from QU, who also participated in a Q&A session.
Prof Jesús A Nunez Villaverde is a prominent Spanish economist and co-director of the Institute of Studies on Conflict and Humanitarian Action (IECAH). He also works as a professor of international relations at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas in Madrid. He is a retired army officer who specialises in security issues, peace building and conflict prevention with a key focus on the Arab-Muslim world. He is also a regular contributor to various media outlets focusing on international affairs.
Prof Jesús A Nunez Villaverde first expressed his pleasure in visiting Qatar and the QU campus for the first time. He began the lecture by explaining that the European Union (EU) is different to Europe as a whole, similarly, he says, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is different from the Gulf.
Prof Jesús A Nunez Villaverde then discussed the relationship between the EU and the Gulf and explained the benefits that the EU gains from the Gulf including energy dependency, economic cooperation and the way in which stability of the Gulf affects the European and Western world in general.
In discussing the current climate of the region he said, “In this entire region, in the global Arab-Muslim world as a whole, we are experiencing, in some way, a necessity of change. There is a movement in favour of change, simultaneously; there is counter-revolution in progress, with strong promoters.”
He also talked about the reality of citizens in the region saying, “Today, there is Internet, there is social networks, so everybody knows in which world they are living. Nobody can silence this reality.”
Dr. Mahjoob Al Zuwairi then opened the floor for discussion where a number of students took the opportunity to ask Professor Jesús A Nunez Villaverde about many issues including climate change and the EU’s role in the Qatar blockade.
The Gulf Studies Center, which is a part of the College of Arts and Sciences at QU, covers topics of politics and security, energy and economics and culture and society.
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