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Towards a new EU Strategy for Central Asia

Tactics or Strategy? Ten years after the inception of the European Union’s (EU) Strategy for Central Asia, in June 2017 the European Council initiated a process to develop a new...

A new EU-Central Asia Strategy: Deepening relationships and generating long-lasting impact

Introduction Over the past decade, the European Union (EU) has become an active actor in Central Asia. It has expanded its diplomatic presence, established co-operation mechanisms and increased its development...

Key Kazakh interests in working with Europe

During the past decade, a significant boost was given to cooperation between Kazakhstan and the European Union (EU). In 2015, an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA) was signed...

Is Kazakhstan’s rising star fading?

Introduction Kazakhstan’s economic prosperity and active foreign policy have given it increasing regional power status. Kazakhstan has stood out internationally as a mediator in conflicts, chair of international fora and...

Civil Society Cornered in Central Asia

Introduction Civil society and independent voices in Central Asia are increasingly under pressure from the authorities. Repression has intensified over the past five years, against a backdrop of a decline...

On a positive note…

Opportunities for Central Asia Central Asia receives rather limited attention when compared to other parts of the world, and when it does, it is often not good news: authoritarian regimes,...

Reviewing the EU’s approach to Central Asia

Introduction(1) The European Union’s (EU) Strategy for Central Asia is being reviewed for the fourth time. Over the last eight years, the EU has been successful in creating several institutionalised...

European National Policies Series – Russia and Central Asia

Russia is a unique actor in Central Asia. It is the former colonial power and it continues to shape the future of the region. Even if Russia has lost...

Discussing human rights with Central Asia is not enough

Universal human rights seem to bypass Central Asia Central Asia is probably the most authoritarian region in the world. According to Freedom House’s 2014 ‘Nations in Transit’ report, the level...

Uncharted waters: Presidential successions in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan

Popular legend holds that the 18th century French King, Louis XV, claimed that after his death everything would fall apart (après moi, le déluge). To outsiders, a similar uncertainty...