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Uzbekistan opening up

Optimism and doubt… Uzbekistan has begun to take steps towards openness and economic and political reform. Since the death of President Islam Karimov in September 2016 and the parliamentary appointment...

Civil society in Uzbekistan: Building from the ground up

Uzbekistan is changing. President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has initiated a series of economic and governance reforms, and the country’s new direction has opened up space for civil society to develop,...

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...

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...

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...

Renewing EU and US Soft Power in Central Asia

Western influence in Central Asia is at an all-time low since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Europe – the European Union (EU) 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,...

Implementation and review of the European Union – Central Asia Strategy: Recommendations for EU...

This paper, commissioned by the European Parliament, assesses the implementation of the European Union (EU) Strategy for Central Asia and outlines a series of recommendations with a view to...