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Established in 2008 by FRIDE as a project seeking to monitor the implementation of the EU Strategy for Central Asia, EUCAM has grown into a knowledge hub on broader Europe-Central Asia relations. With CESS guidance and cooperation EUCAM will seek to continue to raise the profile of European-Central Asian relations in general, and more specifically to:

  • Critically, though constructively, scrutinize European policies towards Central Asia;
  • Enhance knowledge of European engagement with Central Asia through top-quality research;
  • Raise awareness of the importance of Central Asia and Europe’s engagement, as well as discuss European policies among Central Asian communities;
  • Expand the network of experts and institutions from Europe and Central Asia and provide a forum for debate.

Jos Boonstra

EUCAM Coordinator

Before joining the Centre for European Security Studies in 2016, Boonstra worked as senior researcher, and later as head of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia programme at FRIDE, a think tank with offices in Madrid and Brussels. He completed MAs in Contemporary History and International Relations at the University of Groningen. His work focuses on Eurasian and transatlantic security issues (in particular EU, NATO and OSCE policies) as well as on development policies and democratisation in Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus and Central Asia. Boonstra is member of several internal research networks and regularly comments on international issues in the media.

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Aya Renaud

EUCAM communication associate

Freelance journalist, editor, web consultant. Worked for various international organizations and media outlets, including UNDP, UNEP, RFE/RL. Currently, assists non-profit organizations in building their corporate identity, online presence, strengthening communities in social media. Has been involved in EUCAM since 2009. Studied International Journalism at the Kazakh National University (Almaty, Kazakhstan) and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy, University of Erfurt (Germany). 

Merijn Hartog

EUCAM Associate Researcher

Merijn Hartog is director at CESS. In 2001 he graduated from the University of Groningen in Central and Eastern European Contemporary History. At CESS Hartog is responsible for daily management at CESS and its training programmes on democratic governance in the Western Balkans, Eastern Europe, the South-Caucasus and Central Asia. He is currently running projects on parliamentary oversight in Kosovo, Macedonia, and Kyrgyzstan as well as parts of the EUCAM initiative where he combines work as a trainer, project development and researcher.

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Rashid Gabdulhakov

EUCAM Associate Researcher

Rashid Gabdulhakov is an assistant professor at the Research Centre for Media and Journalism Studies at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. He recently obtained a PhD on the phenomenon of digital vigilantism in Russia and other former Soviet republics from the University of Rotterdam. He has a vast teaching and research experience that he gained in Central Asia, Russia, Europe, and the United States. Rashid has been actively involved with EUCAM fellowship programme through designing and delivering a ‘Media and Security’ workshop. He holds a master’s degree in International and European Security from the University of Geneva and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy; as well as a master’s degree in Politics and Security from the OSCE Academy in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic.

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Fabienne Bossuyt

EUCAM Associate Researcher

Fabienne Bossuyt is assistant professor at the Centre for EU Studies of the Department of Political Science at Ghent University. She holds a PhD from Aston University (UK) and Ghent University based on a doctoral dissertation on the EU’s influence in Post-Soviet Central Asia. Previously, she obtained a Master’s degree in Translation Studies (Ghent University, 2004) and a postgraduate degree in International Relations and Conflict Management (KULeuven, 2005). Her main research interests relate to EU foreign policy, particularly the EU’s policies towards the Eastern neighbouring countries and the Central Asian countries, and the EU’s democracy promotion and human rights policies.

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Tinatin Tsertsvadze

EUCAM Associate Researcher

Tinatin Tsertsvadze is a policy analyst on EU external relations at the Open Society European Policy Institute in Brussels. Before that she was International Advocacy Manager at the International partnership for Human Rights and she worked at FRIDE, a European think-tank based in Brussels and Madrid, as Central Asia programme manager. She authored several publications on the EU’s human rights and democracy policies in the South Caucasus and Central Asia. Tinatin Tsertsvadze has a MA in Public Administration (specializing in European Studies) from the Georgian University (Georgia).

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Marlène Laruelle

EUCAM Associate Researcher

Marlene Laruelle is a Director and Research Professor at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES), Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University. Dr. Laruelle is also Director of the Illiberalism Studies Program, Co-Director of PONARS (Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia), and Director of GW’s Central Asia Program. Marlene Laruelle received her Ph.D. in history at the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Cultures (INALCO) and her habilitation in political science at Sciences-Po in Paris.

Chiara Pierobon

EUCAM Associate Researcher

Chiara Pierobon is Senior Researcher at Bielefeld University (Germany) and Associate Research Fellow at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan). She holds a bi-national PhD in Sociology and Social Research awarded by the University of Bielefeld and the University of Trento (Italy). In the past years, Dr. Pierobon served as manager of education exchange initiatives and programmes in Europe and Russia funded by the European Commission and the DAAD, and of collaborative research projects in Central Asia funded by the Volkswagen Foundation. Dr. Pierobon is former Visiting Professor for Macrosociology and European Societies at the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg (Germany) and former Visiting Scholar at American University of Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan), German Kazakh-University (Kazakhstan), University of California/Berkeley (USA) and St. Petersburg State University (Russia).

Andreas Marazis

EUCAM Associate Researcher

Andreas Marazis is Project Manager and Researcher specializing on the Eastern Partnership countries and Central Asia at the European Neighbourhood Council (ENC), a Brussels-based think tank. His research is focused at the post-Soviet space, particularly on socio-political developments in Central Asia and the South Caucasus. Before joining ENC, Andreas worked as a Junior Researcher and EUCAM Programme Officer, at FRIDE in Madrid and Brussels. He also worked as a Project Manager for Eurasian Dialogue in Brussels. Andreas holds a MLitt in Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asian Security Studies from the University of St. Andrews (Scotland, UK) and an MA in Black Sea Cultural Studies from the International Hellenic University (Thessaloniki, Greece).

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Vera Axyonova

EUCAM Associate Researcher

Vera Axyonova is Marie Curie REWIRE Fellow at the University of Vienna and Principal Investigator of the project “Expert Knowledge in Times of Crisis – Uncovering Interaction Effects between Think Tanks, Media and Politics beyond Liberal Democracies”. Before joining the University of Vienna, Vera worked in research, science management and policy consulting, including as the Managing Director of “Academics in Solidarity”, a transnational mentoring program for at-risk scholars at Freie Universität Berlin, as a Postdoctoral Researcher/Assistant Professor for International Integration at Justus Liebig University Giessen, and as a Hurford Next Generation Fellow with the Carnegie Endowment’s Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative. Vera Axyonova is co-founder of the ECPR Research Network on Statehood, Sovereignty and Conflict. She holds a PhD in Political Science from Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences.

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Nafisa Hasanova

EUCAM Associate Researcher

Nafisa Hasanova is project manager for the Reporters without Borders (RSF) project ‘Media Ownership Monitor’ (MOM) in Serbia. In 2016 she implemented the MOM project in Ukraine and Turkey. Before joining RSF Nafisa worked on the Transnistrian settlement process for the Finnish Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) MarttiAhtisaari Centre. From 2012 to 2014 she worked as a policy officer for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia at APRODEV in Brussels. In 2008-2012 Nafisa worked as a EUCAM project manager in Brussels for CEPS and FRIDE. Nafisa, holds an MA in Intercultural Communication and European Studies from the University of Applied Sciences in Fulda, Germany. She completed a BA in English Philology at the Samarkand State Institute of Foreign Languages in Uzbekistan.

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Erica Marat

EUCAM Associate Researcher

Dr. Erica Marat is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Regional and Analytical Studies Department. She has previously directed Homeland Defense Fellowship Program at CISA. Dr. Marat’s research focuses on violence, mobilization and security institutions in Eurasia, India, and Mexico. At CISA, Erica Marat teaches courses on policy analysis and critical thinking, politics and security in Eurasia, and terrorism & crime. Before joining NDU, Erica Marat was a visiting scholar at the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center. She has also worked as an editor at the Russian Service at Voice of America and as a research fellow at the Central Asian – South Caucasus Institute at the John Hopkins University and Uppsala University.

Sébastien Peyrouse

EUCAM Associate Researcher

Sébastien Peyrouse is a research professor of International Affairs at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES), the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, Washington DC. Next to this Sébastien joined FRIDE as an associate researcher and is also an associated fellow at the Institute for International and Strategic Relations, Paris. Sébastien was a doctoral and postdoctoral fellow at the French Institute for Central Asia Studies in Tashkent (1998-2000 and 2002-2005). His main areas of expertise are political systems in Central Asia, Islam and religious minorities, and Central Asia’s geopolitical positioning toward China, India and South Asia.

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Nienke de Deugd

Assistant Professor
Department of International Relations and International Organization
Faculty of Arts of the University of Groningen

Nienke de Deugd is Assistant Professor at the Department of International Relations and International Organization of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Groningen (The Netherlands), and a member of the Board of the Centre for European Security Studies. She is interested in the twin-processes of transformation and integration that have been taking place in the former Soviet space (including the Central Asian republics) since the end of the Cold War. Of particular interest is Ukraine: much of her work focuses on Ukraine’s attempts at democratic reform, and on the efforts of the European Union to provide assistance by means of the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership. Here, the Russian Federation also comes into play – as an actor that seeks to keep Ukraine securely within its “near abroad” and as an actor that has developed a complicated relationship with the European Union.

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Jacqueline Hale

Head of Advocacy, Save the Children, Brussels

Jacqueline Hale has 15 years experience influencing the EU on human rights and humanitarian issues. Prior to Crisis Action she was Head of EU Advocacy for Save the Children, leading the organisation’s advocacy towards the EU on protecting children in conflict and crisis, as well as on multilateral processes such as the UN sustainable development goals and the G7 & G20. Jacqui has also worked as an analyst with the Open Society Foundations, focusing on the Former Soviet Union. She continues to support local civil society organisations dedicated to human rights and accountability through her board membership of an INGO focused on the region. In addition to her work with NGOs she has held research roles at the European Parliament and with UNHCR as well as advisory roles with the British Council and a number of thinktanks.

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Nargis Kassenova

Senior Fellow, Davis Center, Harvard University

Nargis Kassenova is Senior Fellow and director of the Program on Central Asia at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies (Harvard University) and Associate Professor at the Department of International Relations and Regional Studies of KIMEP University (Almaty, Kazakhstan). She is the former founder and director of the KIMEP Central Asian Studies Center (CASC) and the China and Central Asia Studies Center (CCASC). Kassenova holds a PhD in International Cooperation Studies from the Graduate School of International Development, Nagoya University (Japan). Her research focuses on Central Asian politics and security, Eurasian geopolitics, China’s Belt and Road Initiative and governance in Central Asia, and history of state-making in Central Asia.

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Neil Melvin

Director, International Security Studies, RUSI, London

Dr. Neil Melvin is Director International Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). His current research is focused on emerging international security dynamics in key regions around the world, notably Europe and Eurasia, the Gulf and Middle East, East Africa and the Horn, and the Indo-Pacific. Prior to joining RUSI, Dr. Melvin was Director of the Armed Conflict and Conflict Management Programme and then Director of Research at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). He has held senior adviser positions in the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Energy Charter, the European Union, and has been a consultant for the United Nations.

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Parviz Mullojanov

Executive Director, Public Committee for Development of Tajikistan

Project coordinator of one of the projects of International Alert office in Tajikistan, member of the Board of the OSI, Tajikistan; specialized in conflict resolution, political and oriental studies. Former member and a member of organizing team of the Inter- Tajik Dialogue  (1997-2004),  former member of the EUCAM expert group (2009-2010), worked for a number of international organizations and projects as employee and consultant such as  Human Rights Watch/Helsinki, UNHCR, UNDP, ADB,UNDP, GTZ. Author of a series of publications in the field of political science, conflict resolution and Islamic studies.

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Shairbek Juraev

President, Crossroads Central Asia

Shairbek Dzhuraev is co-founder and president of Crossroads Central Asia. He is an Associate Research Fellow at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek. Previously, Shairbek served as deputy director at OSCE Academy in Bishkek and as a dean of academic development at the American University of Central Asia. Shairbek regularly provides research and assessment-related consulting services to development organizations and research institutions. Shairbek has taught courses in International Relations, Central Asian politics, Foreign Policy Analysis, Russia and Central Asia. His research interests include a wide range of political and policy issues in Central Asia, with a particular focus on political institutions, foreign policymaking and water politics.

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Indra Overland

Research Professor and Head of the Energy Programme at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI)

Indra Overland has worked on Central Asia since 2001, and previously headed the Russia and Eurasia Research Group at NUPI. He completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge in the year 2000 and is co-author of among other publications: The Caspian Sea Region Towards 2025: Caspia Inc., National Giants or Trade and Transit? (Eburon / Chicago University Press) and Caspian Energy Politics (Routledge).

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Centre for European Security Studies (CESS)

The Centre for European Security Studies (CESS) is an independent institute for research and training, based in Groningen, the Netherlands. CESS seeks to advance security, development, democracy and human rights by helping governments and civil society face their respective challenges. CESS is an international, multidisciplinary and inclusive institute. Its work is part of the European quest for stability and prosperity, both within and outside Europe. CESS encourages informed debate, empowers individuals, fosters mutual understanding on matters of governance, and promotes democratic structures and processes.

CESS was established in 1993 by Prof. Dr Peter Volten, University of Groningen. CESS is a non-governmental organisation, which also undertakes think tank activities through research. In the 1990s, it played a pioneering role in the democratic transition of security sectors in Central Europe. In the 2000s, CESS continued researching on security and democratisation, as well as carrying out training and awareness-raising activities in the Western Balkans, Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus, Central Asia and Turkey. More recently with the incorporation of EUCAM, CESS is expanding its attention and research activities to Central Asia.

Visit the CESS website


The Central Asia Program (CAP)

The Central Asia Program (CAP) is hosted by The Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, Washington DC. The CAP develops policy-oriented research on Central Asia and provides a space for discussion connecting policy, academic, diplomatic, and business communities. Its research activities focus on four main axes: security, development, state-building, and regional environment. The Programme organises monthly seminars, regular forums and conferences and regularly hosts fellows from Central Asia.

Visit the CAP website

The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI)

The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) is a leading centre for research on international issues in areas of particular relevance to Norwegian foreign policy. NUPI has three main pillars of research and expertise: security and risk, growth and development, and international order and governance. NUPI devotes substantial attention in its research to Central Asia, for instance in analysing developments in energy security. International scholars from around the world attend the Institute as guest researchers or visiting fellows, including scholars from Central Asia on a regular basis. NUPI is an important forum for discussion and debate in Norway and internationally, and organizes frequent meetings and events – lectures, seminars, and conferences. NUPI was established by the Norwegian Parliament in 1959: The institute is a state body under the Ministry of Education and Research, but operates independently as a non-political institution in all its professional activities.

Visit the NUPI website

European Neighbourhood Council (ENC)

European Neighbourhood Council (ENC) is an independent think tank that conducts research and implements projects with a view to strengthen the common European neighbourhood. ENC seeks to foster dialogue and neighbourhood coordination among European Union (EU) member states, EU accession countries, European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) countries and Central Asia. Through research, events and partnerships we aim to narrow the foreign policy gap between EU member states, neighbouring countries, and wider Europe. Through these efforts we aim to enhance democracy, security, economic growth, and education, while guaranteeing a stable, diverse and developing European neighbourhood. Represented cross-regionally by it’s Academic Council, ENC scholars provide a guiding platform for our activities.

Visit the ENC website

The OSCE Academy

Through the partnership between CESS and the OSCE Academy, EUCAM is also closely cooperating with the latter. The mission of the OSCE Academy in Bishkek is to promote regional cooperation, conflict prevention and good governance in Central Asia through offering post-graduate education, professional training and intellectual exchange. The Academy pursues its mission through particular set of activities, including: providing expert training and education; conducting demand-driven and practice-oriented research; supporting the exchange of information and scientific co-operation; and establishing and developing a regional network of professionals and researchers.

Visit OSCE Academy website

EUCAM Civil Society Fellowship Programme (2018 – )

The EUCAM-Civil Society Fellowship Programme (FP) is a continuation of the earlier EUCAM Strategy Fellowship (SF) project. In the programme we host three groups of each three fellows for periods of 12 weeks at the CESS office in Groningen. The fellows are young nationals from Central Asian states that work in civil society. they will have the opportunity to strengthen their research, writing, debating, outreach and training skills while learning about EU foreign policy. In this programme, EUCAM closely liaises with the European Neighbourhood Council (ENC) in Brussels. The fellowship programme is funded by the Open Society Foundations with additional support of the European Endowment for Democracy. Within the framework of this project, EUCAM also offered a 3-month online writing and outreach course to Central Asian civil society representatives.

EUCAM-SF (completed)

With the support of the Open Society Foundation, EUCAM is now extending its work to offering fellowships. The EUCAM-Strategy Fellowship (SF) project will host three groups of each three fellows for periods of 12 weeks at the CESS office in Groningen. The fellows are young nationals from Central Asian states that work in academia or civil society. they will have the opportunity to strengthen their research, writing, debating, outreach and training skills while learning about EU foreign policy. Meanwhile EUCAM also plans to deliver input for the planned renewal of the EU Strategy for Central Asia by 2019 through innovative research and active outreach activities. In this project EUCAM will closely liaise with the European Neighbourhood Council (ENC) in Brussels; and the Central Asia Program (CAP) at the George Washington University.

EUCAM III (completed)

With the support of the Open Society Foundations the EUCAM initiative was revived and made fully operational again as part of the Centre for European Security Studies. Next to updating the EUCAM website, database, management structures, etc. this project also foresaw in several publications and events.

EUCAM-EP (completed)

EUCAM prepared three extensive reports for the European Parliament (EP). The first was on the impact of the 2014 ISAF Forces’ withdrawal from Afghanistan on the Central Asian region (2013) that was presented at a high-level conference in the European Parliament in Brussels; the second, an evaluation of the EU’s human rights policies and engagement in Central Asia that was presented in the Human Rights Committee of the European Parliament in March 2014; and the third, an in-depth analyses on the implementation and review of the EU Strategy for Central Asia which was also presented in the European Parliament (November 2015, published 2016). The last study was part of FRIDE’s participation in a consortium with PASOS, CASE and SIPRI in delivering advice to the European Parliament on EU enlargement, Eastern Neighbourhood, Russia and Central Asia. EUCAM remains involved in this consortium.

EUCAM II (completed)

The EUCAM-II project (2010-2015) was a continuation of the EUCAM I project (2008-2010) managed by FRIDE. EUCAM broadened its scope from strictly monitoring the EU strategy for Central Asia to assessing broader European policies that included activities by non-EU member states as well as the OSCE and NATO. In doing so EUCAM looked at a variety of issues and themes such as: political, economic and social processes; democracy and human rights; security, energy, and international assistance. EUCAM-II was supported by the Open Society Foundations.

EUCAM-SD (completed)

The 2011-2013 EUCAM-Security and Development (SD) project focused on the link between security challenges in the Central Asian region and the need for development in the broadest sense, including governance, poverty reduction, ethnic tension and social equality. For the EUCAM-SD project FRIDE and the Karelian Institute of the University of Eastern Finland produced a series of in-depth working papers/reports that offered new insights and creative thinking on Europe’s role in promoting security and development in Central Asia. The project also foresaw in a series of public events in Europe and Central Asia. EUCAM-SD was supported by the Wider Europe Initiative of the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

EUCAM I (completed)

EUCAM started out as a project implemented by FRIDE and CEPS in September 2008. EUCAM I was supported by the Open Society Institute, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, the Czech Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The project was concluded with an extensive report, Into Eurasia (Michael Emerson and Jos Boonstra) in 2010.