Experts & Staff

Cinzia Bianco

Visiting Fellow

Areas of expertise

The Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf region, European relations with the Gulf countries


Italian and English (fluent), French, Spanish and Arabic (conversational)


Cinzia Bianco is a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, where she is working on political, security and economic developments in the Arabian Peninsula and Gulf region and relations with Europe. Additionally, she is a senior analyst at Gulf State Analytics. Previously, Bianco was a research fellow for the European Commission’s project on EU-GCC relations ‘Sharaka’ between 2013 and 2014.

She holds an MA degree in Middle East and Mediterranean Studies from King’s College London and a PhD in Middle East Politics from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, where she worked on threat perceptions in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) after the 2011 Arab uprisings. She is the author of “The Gulf monarchies after the Arab Spring: threats and security” (Manchester University Press, 2024)



Rest meets West: How the UAE keeps its economic ties open

The UAE sees itself first and foremost as a valuable economic connector, bridging the BRICS+ and the West. Its bet is that that great powers, even amid rising tensions, need a safe haven to do business with one another

Seeing Red: Towards a diplomatic solution to Houthi attacks

The US and UK strike on Houthi targets in Yemen has done little to deter the Iranian-backed group from its attacks in the Red Sea. Europeans should instead launch their own maritime operation, engage in diplomacy, and call for a ceasefire in Gaza

COP28: France has a key role to play

COP is taking place this year in the United Arab Emirates, whose subsistence depends heavily on fossil fuels. Despite the controversy surrounding the choice of venue for the summit, the EU and France must not turn their back on negotiations with the Arab state on the gradual phase out of these fuels

Intersections of influence: IMEC and Europe’s role in a multipolar Middle East

A new trade corridor linking India to Europe via the Middle East can offer opportunities for Europeans to strengthen their geo-economic influence with the Gulf. It can also be an opportunity for de-risking, but Europe should not expect to dislodge Chinese influence




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