EU seeks stronger partnership with Central Asia

BRUSSELS, The European Commission and the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini adopted Wednesday a new strategy which sets out a fresh vision for a stronger partnership with the five countries of Central Asia.

They are Kazakhstan; the Kyrgyz Republic; 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, as well as increasing global challenges that demand a strengthened partnership,” commented Mogherini.

The EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, added that the EU is a leading development partner for Central Asia, supporting the region with over 1 billion euro (USD 1.1 billion) between 2014-2020 in areas such as the rule of law, environment, water, trade and border management.

“Through a renewed partnership, we want to strengthen our engagement with Central Asian partners to help them make the region more resilient, prosperous and better inter-connected,” he said.

The strategy proposes to focus future EU engagement on two aspects: strengthening Central Asian states’ capacity to overcome internal and external shocks and enhancing their ability to embrace reform.

Secondly by supporting economic modernisation, promoting sustainable connectivity, and investing in youth.

The EU also intends to step up cooperation with Central Asian partners to promote peace in Afghanistan.

Mogherini and Mimica, intend to present formally the new EU Strategy on Central Asia to her Central Asian counterparts at the 15th EU-Central Asia Ministerial meeting, which will take place on 7 July in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic.

Source: Kuwait News Agency