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New EU Strategy for Central Asia: First reactions

Editorial Enough to do for the EU in Central Asia I always have a ‘to-do list’ at work. And, like most people, before I complete one task, I already have a...

Reconsidering EU Education Assistance to Central Asia

Central Asia’s educational systems have been deteriorating for almost three decades. Education is a key EU-driven area of EU-Central Asia cooperation. However, the EU’s focus on promoting large-scale systemic...

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...

How ‘central’ is Central Asia in the EU-Asia connectivity strategy?

Editorial A confusing strategy At the end of 2018, the European Union (EU) presented its Europe-Asia connectivity strategy (CS). The CS applies to transport, energy, and digital networks, and includes a...

Going Tajikistan: Mind your step

‘The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes’, Marcel Proust Tajikistan has the potential to become the next popular destination on the...

SMEs as the backbone of the economy: a daunting development challenge for Tajikistan

Economic relations between the European Union (EU) and Tajikistan are limited. The trade balance between the two parties over the past few years has been negative. While the EU...

North, West, home best. Tajik labour migration and EU development cooperation

Migration is an integral part of Tajikistan’s society, economy, and politics. It is estimated that one million Tajik nationals entered Russia as labour migrants in 2017, with remittances amounting...

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...

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,...