Dr. Silvia Colombo is Senior Research Fellow in the Mediterranean and Middle East
Programme at the International Affairs Institute (IAI) in Rome. She was the coordinator
of the European Commission’s project ‘Sharaka – Enhancing Understanding and
Cooperation in EU-GCC Relations’ between 2012 and 2014. An expert on Middle
Eastern politics, she works on Euro-Mediterranean cooperation, transatlantic relations in
the Mediterranean, and domestic and regional politics in the Arab world. Among her
research interests are also the relations between the European Union and the countries of
the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and energy dynamics in the Euro-Mediterranean
Dr. Colombo holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Politics from the Scuola Normale Superiore
of Pisa (Florence Branch) and a Master’s Degree in Near and Middle Eastern Studies
from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. She speaks Arabic
fluently and has travelled extensively to the Middle Eastern region. Her recent
publications include “The Gulf and the EU: Partners or Competitors?” in S. Gstöhl and E.
Lannon (eds.), The Neighbours of the European Union’s Neighbours: Diplomatic and
Geopolitical Dimensions beyond the European Neighbourhood Policy (Farnham and
Burlington, Ashgate, 2014).