Commentaries

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...

Looking for National Consensus in Post-Violence Kyrgyzstan

Following the June 2010 violence in Kyrgyzstan, ethnic nationalist voices of all stripes have become particularly loud, expressing their views to receptive audiences through mass media outlets and political...

Is the EU downscaling political engagement in Central Asia?

As of 1 March 2014, the European Union (EU) will no longer have a high representative (EUSR) to Central Asia. Ambassador Patricia Flor who has fulflled the role since...

EUCAM essay competition

The European Union’s (EU) engagement policy towards authoritarian and hydrocarbon-rich Turkmenistan has so far yielded little success. It is indeed a challenge for the EU to fnd the right...

The Kyrgyzstani Presidential Elections: Atambayev’s Challenges

After much anticipation and anxiety about the presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan, there is a feeling of relief that Almazbek Atambaev won the contest with an overwhelming majority, making a...

Promises and hurdles in EU-Kazakhstan energy cooperation

Kazakhstan’s Prime Minister, Karim Massimov, once referred to energy cooperation as the ‘core’ of relations between his country and the European Union (EU). Indeed, there is great mutual interest...

Go Gorno-Badakhshan

The autonomous region of Gorno-Badakhshan (GBAO) in Tajikistan offers one of the world’s most impressive landscapes. The Pamir Mountains with peaks of up to 7,500 meters is second only...