Over the past decade, the European Union is at stake due to its core democratic values being
damaged. The state is vulnerable to lobbying and has been influenced by some countries like
UAE. Independent decisions are not happening in Europe as they are always influenced by one
party or the other. Russia and the GCC countries, are not shaking and undermining European
objectives and stability.
EU Close Ties With The UAE
The Russian aggression against Ukraine has shaken up the international order. It has been
particularly affecting the EU’s political and economic interests. As a result, the EU is further
strengthening its partnership with the GCC countries. The country is in fear of suffering from the
Russian fossil fuel boycott.
Indeed, UAE fuel spare capacity is the only path that the EU can take to increase output and
avoid supply losses. Their close ties with the Gulf countries appear to be rather problematic
because this can cause negatively affect their image. UAE’s intense lobbying in the EU is also
causing changes in the decisions of the European Union.
Foreign Interference By The UAE In The EU Democratic Process
The European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) released a report that
highlighted the Human Rights Impact of Foreign interference by Gulf countries. During the
session, Mr. Nicola Giovannini, who is working as the executive of the Droit Au Droit (DAD)
International, presented her views on the UAE’s influence in the EU.
The Investigative Report revealed a lot of inside details about the Foreign Interference by the
UAE in the Democratic Processes of the EU. The major topics that the report focuses on are the
lobbying strategies of the UAE. The country is using soft power and is trying to side EU with the.
The analysis in the report highlight how the UAE is trying to change the traditional policies of the
EU. Giovannini said:
“The UAE relies on soft power to the creation of circles of persuasive pressure and echo
chamber to persuade EU policymakers in the EU institution, including the EP”, to push towards
the adoption of a foreign policy agenda running contrary to “EU human rights principles, foreign
policy, and security interests”.
The main Objective Of UAE Lobbying Is To Present It As A Tolerant Country
The main objective of the UAE lobbying is to present itself as a nation that cares a lot about
human rights. Various firms, MEPs, and media portals are a part of the UAE lobbying and are
painting a different picture of the UAE. Irrespective of the reality of the country the Gulf is
portrayed as a tolerant nation. UAE has been targeting media campaigns and has a strong link
with a wide Brussels-based network.
Some Brussels-based think tanks and discussion platforms are whitewashing the dark side of
the UAE and the country is representing itself as a friendly ally of the UAE. According to the
various platforms planted by the Middle East for their promotion, the country is willing to engage
in humanitarian aid and fight against terrorism.
It is also propagated that the Emirates is ready for secular modernization. However, such a
depiction is the opposite of the repressive reality that is faced by journalists and political
prisoners. The human rights defenders in the country and other people oppressed by the UAE
tell a different story about the Emirates. What is more concerning is that such lobbying
strategies are curbing the chances of any debate or criticism.
UAE Is Influencing The Fundamental Values Of the EU
UAE lobbying activities are affecting the EU’s fundamental values. The European Union has
become more vulnerable to such a narrative. Several EU institutions are showing carelessness
towards the human rights violations that are committed by the UAE. This clearly shows how
these intense lobbying strategies are impacting the EU.
Some experts feel that the EU should accept that “face-saving” is an important part and they
should maintain it well. The political sphere of the Gulf and the human rights problems must be
dealt with using private channels as this can help to avoid public shaming. However, this gives
GCC further leverage on the EU and will lead to threatening the human rights and democratic
principles of the EU and other parts of the world.