Central Asia comes closer

The EU has outlined on Wednesday its strategy for a renewed partnership with Central Asia, updating its strategy on relations with the region first set out in 2007, the EU press service reported. The new Joint Communication adopted by the Commission and the High Representative sets out a fresh vision for a stronger partnership with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

“Central Asia has always been a key region: for its history, for its culture, and for its role of connecting East and West. Today it is becoming more and more strategic, amid positive internal and regional dynamics,” VP Federica Mogherini said. “The EU is a leading development partner for Central Asia, supporting the region with over €1bn between 2014-2020 in areas such as the rule of law, environment, water, trade and border management,” Development Commissioner Neven Mimica added.

The Joint Communication proposes future EU engagement to be focused on two main aspects: partnering for resilience by strengthening Central Asian states' capacity to overcome internal and external shocks and enhancing their ability to embrace reform; and partnering for prosperity by supporting economic modernisation, promoting sustainable connectivity, and investing in youth. In addition, the EU is determined to invest in regional cooperation in Central Asia, helping the countries of the region to promote dialogue and cooperation at their own pace.

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