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EU-CA Strategy for a New Partnership

EU cooperation in Central Asia

Two comprehensive strategies provide a framework for EU cooperation in Central Asia. These are:

EU-Central Asia Strategy for a New Partnership

The EU Strategy for a New Partnership with Central Asia was adopted in 2007 in recognition of the increasing importance of Central Asia for the EU for reasons of security, stability, governance and energy diversification, and in response to the desire of the five CA countries to move closer to the EU economically and politically.

It marked a further intensification of the cooperation with the five countries that had begun following their independence in 1991.

The Strategy for a New Partnership provides for regular political dialogue at ministerial level. Using a coherent policy framework, it promotes dialogue and cooperation in human rights, education, rule of law, energy, transport, environment and water, trade and economic relations, as well as in dealing with common threats and challenges.

The Strategy has allowed the EU Member States to develop a more focused and coordinated common approach to the countries of Central Asia, while also allowing for individual approaches to each of them in response to their specific issues and concerns.

It is implemented in combination with other regional and bilateral strategic and financial instruments including the EU Security Strategy adopted in 2003, various thematic assistance programmes, such as, for example, the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), and above all the development aid provided through the EC Regional Assistance Strategy Paper 2007-2013.

Its achievements include:

  • Increased EU engagement with Central Asia through regular high level political dialogue
  • The establishment of a structured human rights dialogue, [Download brochure on Human Rights Dialogue]
  • Progress in the implementation of the Education Initiative
  • The successful launch of the Rule of Law Initiative in 2008, followed by the proposal at the Second Ministerial Conference in Dushanbe in 2010 to for an EU-Central Asia “Rule of Law Platform” project to step up the policy dialogue on Rule of Law issues.  The  “Rule of Law Platform” project on was effectively launched in 2011.
  • The expansion of environmental programmes and the launch of National Water Policy Dialogues in Central Asia.
  • Greater dialogue and cooperation on renewable energy and the Kyoto Protocol, supported by assistance programmes
  • A doubling of financial assistance provided by the EU to the region for the years 2007-2013 under the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), which has replaced TACIS as the EU’s main instrument of financial assistance in the region. This assistance is complemented by resources under thematic programmes and represents one of the leading assistance programmes in the region.

An essential partner of the Strategy for a New Partnership with Central Asia is the European Commission’s “Regional Strategy Paper for Assistance to Central Asia for the period 2007- 13”.