Commentaries

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...

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...

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...