EUCAM Working Paper - No. 17

Evaluation of the EU’s human rights policies and engagement in Central Asia


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This report, that was commissioned by the European Parliament, argues that European support for human rights in Central Asia mostly seeks to tackle technical matters in the judicial sector while often leaving deeper shortcomings in protection of human rights untouched. The EU has had little impact on Central Asia’s human rights record, due to the region’s deeply embedded authoritarian rule, as well as the EU’s limited leverage and inconsistencies in implementing values-related policies and projects. The report is also available here.

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Vera Axyonova is a postdoctoral researcher / assistant professor at the Justus Liebig University Giessen and an adjunct lecturer at Fulda University of Applied Sciences. She completed her PhD in Political Science at the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences and holds an MA in Intercultural Communication and European Studies and a Diploma in International Relations. Her primary research interests are external democratisation and human rights promotion, security in the post-soviet space, and Central Asian affairs.
Tinatin Tsertsvadze joined IPHR’s Brussels team in January 2015 as International Advocacy Manager. She maintains regular contacts with EU institutions, monitors EU policies towards Eastern Partnership and Central Asian countries and coordinates advocacy actions targeting EU and other international institutions. Before joining IPHR, she worked for four years at FRIDE, a European think-tank based in Brussels and Madrid, as Central Asia programme manager and conducted research and advocacy on EU policies towards Central Asia and the South Caucasus. She authored several publications on the EU’s human rights and democracy policies in these regions. Prior to that Tinatin briefly worked at the Open Society Institute in Brussels, and for the European Socialist Party, assisting in the 2009 European Parliament Election campaign. She was involved in the pan-European youth network AEGEE, and served one year as its Brussels director for European Institutions. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration (specializing in European Studies) from the Georgian University (Georgia).
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.