Welcome from the Chair

Welcome to the website of the European Parliament's Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula (DARP).

This standing body of the European Parliament covers inter-parliamentary relations with Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen as well as the Contact Group of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

As the elected Chair of the Delegation, I will preside over our regular meetings in Brussels and Strasbourg and set the agenda for our work with our partners in the Gulf region. During this term of the European Parliament, while respecting the independence of our partner parliaments, we will be working to ensure that the European Parliament's positions are taken into full account in all policy areas pertaining to our relations with the countries of the Arab Peninsula.

In addition to our regular meetings within the European Parliament, the delegation will hold bilateral inter-parliamentary meetings (IPMs) with each country of the Arab Peninsula as well as with the Contact Group of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). These meetings contribute to strengthening the relations between the EU and the Gulf countries, enhancing our cooperation in several policy fields and improving our mutual understanding.

As one of the "diplomatic arms of the European Parliament", the Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula contributes to representing the European Union in the Gulf region and to promoting the values on which the European Union is founded, namely the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law.

Moreover, as a part of my mandate, and in full cooperation with my colleagues, I will multiply our efforts to reinforce the role of parliamentary diplomacy, contribute to the sustainable and peaceful development of the region, open a dialogue on environmental issues and renewable energy and work towards a more inclusive society where the role of women is strengthened.

I look forward to guiding our Delegation through the current challenging times.

Hannah Neumann

Next delegation meeting

06-04-2020 - 19:16

Due to the epidemic of COVID-19), the President of the European Parliament and Parliament's political leaders have modified Parliament's calendar of activities for the next weeks. The aim is to enable Parliament to exercise its core functions, while providing duty of care for its Members and staff, and protecting public health.

As a result, various meetings and activities due to take place on Parliament's premises, including those organised by the delegations, have been cancelled or postponed.

The Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula will resume its meetings as soon as the European Parliament returns to its normal calendar of activities.

Press release on the mission of the delegation to KSA & Oman on 23-27 Feburary 2020

04-03-2020 - 17:00

The cross-party European Parliament Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula chaired by Dr Hannah Neumann and composed of three other Members (Eva Kaili - S&D, Greece, Cristian Bușoi - EPP, Romania and Matteo Adinolfi - ID, Italy) held an intense visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman on 23-27 February 2020.

Saudi Arabia

During the visit, Members discussed the socio-economic situation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as political and security challenges in the region, holding meetings with different national and regional authorities They held a fruitful exchange of views with Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, H.E Adel Al Jubeir, who stressed the importance of maintaining stability in the region, with particular reference to the various regional crises. Members emphasized the need for a full respect of international humanitarian law, the need for a political solution to the conflicts in Yemen, Syria and Libya.

The importance of cooperation between the EU and GCC was underlined during the meeting with GCC Secretary General, Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani. Members discussed the past negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement with the EU, expressed their intention to strengthen EU-GCC parliamentary relations and stressed the positive role the GCC can play in defusing regional tensions between its members.

In several other meetings, the members of the delegation were able to exchange views on the process of social and economic transformation recently undertaken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with particular emphasis to environmental issues and women empowerment. The "Vision 2030 plan" and the current G20 activities under the presidency of Saudi Arabia were also discussed with members of the EP delegation.

The MEPs reiterated their opposition to the death penalty and stressed the need to respect human rights, to fully align national legislation to international standards and to ensure that women´s rights are fully respected. Members frequently raised the cases of the Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, laureate of the 2015 Sakharov Prize, and of the five imprisoned women rights defenders, including Loujain al-Hathloul, who will face the third hearing of her trial on 11 March. 


The European Parliament's delegation was the first European Union's visit which occurred since the passing away of Sultan Qaboos bin Said and the designation of his successor, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq. Members of the delegation expressed their warmest condolences for the death of Sultan Qaboos and acknowledged the impressive achievements made during his 50 years of reign.

The socio-economic situation in the country was also discussed during the visit and Members agreed on the need for economic reforms, creation of jobs for the youth and the diversification of revenue's sources currently mostly relying upon oil and gas.

Meetings with H.E. Dr. Yahya bin Mahfoodh Al Mantheri, Chairman of the State Council and H.E. Khalid bin Hilal Al Mawali, Chairman of Shura Council, were held in a very friendly atmosphere and paved the way to deeper parliamentary cooperation between the European Union and Oman.

Members held high-level meetings with with H.H. Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers, H.E. Yousef Bin Alawi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and H.E. Sayyid Badr bin Saud Al Busaidi, Minister of Defence. During these visits, Members shared Oman's concerns about the gradual deterioration of the stability in the Gulf region and voiced their appreciation for the role traditionally played by the Sultanate in defusing tensions and contributing to finding lasting solutions to current regional disputes and conflicts.

During the meetings held in Muscat, the exemption of Omani citizens from entry visa to the European Countries (Visa waiver) was also evoked. Omani representatives asked the European Parliament to interpose its good offices for a successful conclusion of this long-standing issue.

During the official visit, members also discussed the situation of human rights and social rights in Oman as well as environmental issues related to climate change.