Commentaries

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...

The European market remains a dream for Kyrgyz exporters

In 2016, the European Union (EU) granted Kyrgyzstan Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) status. The new status meant reduced or zero tariffs for Kyrgyz exports to European markets...

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...

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...

Mastering a Façade democracy: elections in Uzbekistan

President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan has been re-elected after scoring 90 per cent of votes at the Uzbek general elections held on 29 March 2015. According to offcial estimates,...

EU-Kyrgyzstan human rights diplomacy: good effort but weak follow-up

On 29-30 October, the 5th EUKyrgyzstan Civil Society Seminar(CSS) was held in Osh in southKyrgyzstan, where the violent June 2010 ethnic clashes took place. This year’s topic was the...

What role for the European Parliament in Central Asia?

The challenges – internally and externally – for the new European legislature are numerous. Despite being only a small part of the puzzle, Central Asia should also be on...