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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...

Civil Society Cornered in Central Asia

Introduction Civil society and independent voices in Central Asia are increasingly under pressure from the authorities. Repression has intensified over the past five years, against a backdrop of a decline...

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...

Discussing human rights with Central Asia is not enough

Universal human rights seem to bypass Central Asia Central Asia is probably the most authoritarian region in the world. According to Freedom House’s 2014 ‘Nations in Transit’ report, the level...

Evaluation of the EU’s human rights policies and engagement in Central Asia

This report, that was commissioned by the European Parliament, argues that European support for human rights in Central Asia mostly seeks to tackle technical matters in the judicial sector...

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...