Over the last years the Gulf monarchies emerged as assertive players both in the MENA region and in the global context. Relying on their huge energy reserves and financial assets, these states acquired increasing international leverage. On the one hand, the oil monarchies moved eastwards exploiting the opportunity provided by emerging Asian markets to diversify their energy relations and economic interests. On the other, they were prompted by the 2011 uprisings to modify their traditional stance in favour of a more proactive approach that dramatically altered their influence in the region. However, Gulf activism comes at a time when the monarchies are facing important internal and external challenges. In this complex puzzle, the report aims to assess to what extent the rising Gulf monarchies are able to play as key actors at both the regional and the international levels. Are Gulf monarchies adopting sustainable domestic policies in the long-term? How have they extended their influence in the MENA region? How are they reshaping their international relations? How do they act in the world energy market? What are the implications of the Gulf’s new assertiveness for the EU states?
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