The European Union’s New Central Asia Strategy Releases
Brussels- the European Union has released a new and updated strategy for Central Asia on May 15, 2019.
The new Strategy sets out a fresh vision for a stronger partnership among the five Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan; the Kyrgyz Republic; Tajikistan; Turkmenistan; and Uzbekistan.
The Joint Communication proposes to focus future EU engagement on two aspects:
- Partnering for resilience by strengthening Central Asian states' capacity to overcome internal and external shocks and enhancing their ability to embrace reform.
- Partnering for prosperity by supporting economic modernization, promoting sustainable connectivity, and investing in youth. EU is determined to invest in regional cooperation in Central Asia, helping countries of the region to promote dialogue & cooperation at their own pace.
The Strategy also outlines stronger cooperation between Central Asia and Afghanistan which has set new parameters for EU's efforts to promote peace in Afghanistan
It comes at a key moment of fast-developing Euro-Asian connectivity, reform and opening up in some of the countries of the region, and new momentum for regional cooperation.
Afghanistan is a new priority in 2019 Strategy and this country is engaged in the implementation of a number of key projects in the region including; TAPI, TAP, CASA1000 transmission line between Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, 5 Nations Railway Corridor between China, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan & Afghanistan.
Central Asia and Afghanistan have become increasingly relevant to each other given their common interest in security and stability, water management and building effective connectivity links. EU's Support for connectivity projects between Central Asia & Afghanistan is crucial.