Commentaries

Invisible migration with visible consequences

Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek is growing fast. While official data indicates only a few thousand ‘visible’ migrants moving from rural areas to the capital each year, unofficial estimations point to...

Right to Privacy in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyz citizens’ right to privacy is at risk. In autumn 2019, Kyrgyz news centered mainly on government plans to install in Bishkek Chinese facial recognition cameras that were donated...

How the EU links Central Asia to Afghanistan’s development

In 2019, the European Union (EU) released a new strategy for Central Asia. Whereas the strategy is focused on the five Central Asian ‘stans’, it does seek to include...

Potential for EU-Kazakhstan cooperation on women’s empowerment

Women’s empowerment and gender equality feature prominently in the new European Union (EU) Strategy for Central Asia. They are referred to as cross-cutting issues, included in a wide range...

EU support for security sector reform in Kyrgyzstan

In its new strategy for Central Asia, the European Union (EU) ‘aim(s) to engage with Central Asian countries on the security sector and consider cooperation aimed at promoting its...

Resilience, prosperity and cooperation in Central Asia’s enclaves: a role for the EU?

Bilateral relations between some Central Asian countries have improved over the past few years, among other reasons due to progress over the delimitation and demarcation of borders, opening up...

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,...