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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...

A new EU-Central Asia Strategy: Deepening relationships and generating long-lasting impact

Introduction Over the past decade, the European Union (EU) has become an active actor in Central Asia. It has expanded its diplomatic presence, established co-operation mechanisms and increased its development...

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...

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,...

Uncharted waters: Presidential successions in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan

Popular legend holds that the 18th century French King, Louis XV, claimed that after his death everything would fall apart (après moi, le déluge). To outsiders, a similar uncertainty...

Trading values with Kazakhstan

The European Union (EU) and Kazakhstan have become important partners over the past decade. The EU is Kazakhstan’s leading trade partner, accounting for 40 per cent of its exports....

The EU Needs a New Values-Based Realism for its Central Asia Strategy

Last summer, on the fifth anniversary of the adoption of the EU Strategy for Central Asia, the European Council approved continuation of the Strategy’s implementation in its current form....

EU Human Rights and Democratisation Assistance to Central Asia: In Need of Further Reform

Introduction One of the declared priorities of the European Union (EU) in Central Asia is the strengthening of good governance, rule of law, human rights and democratisation. Given the EU’s...

Democracy in Central Asia: Sowing in unfertile fields?

Introduction Central Asia is one of the most repressive regions in the world. Compared with the two other former-Soviet regions of Eastern Europe (Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine) and the South...

Indirect fall-out from the June 2010 events in Kyrgyzstan: the case of Kara-Suu

The Kyrgyz town of Kara-Suu lies on the border with Uzbekistan, some 25 kilometres from Osh, the city most affected by the conflict between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks on...