EUCAM Working Papers/Reports - No. 12

Thinking security, doing development? The security-development nexus in European policies towards Tajikistan


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As the 2014 NATO drawdown from Afghanistan approaches, the EU increasingly focuses on preventing potential spillover effects on Central Asia. The Union wishes to further its cooperation with the wider region. But to succeed, it will have to develop a clearer strategy to avoid condoning the repressive policies and opaque interests of the Central Asian governments. The EU should focus on a few well-chosen areas and prioritise the involvement of local actors, in particular civilian stakeholders, who are the only vectors of long-term sustainable solutions. This paper addresses the Central Asia-Afghanistan relationship, analyses the impact of post-2014 changes to the security context and looks at the EU’s opportunities to foster regional dynamics.

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Before joining the Centre for European Security Studies in 2016, Boonstra worked as senior researcher, and later as head of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia programme at FRIDE, a think tank with offices in Madrid and Brussels. He completed MAs in Contemporary History and International Relations at the University of Groningen. His work focuses on Eurasian and transatlantic security issues (in particular EU, NATO and OSCE policies) as well as on development policies and democratisation in Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus and Central Asia. Boonstra is member of several internal research networks and regularly comments on international issues in the media.