European Union Impact on Central Asia: Political, Economic, Security and Social Spheres


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Series: European Political, Economic, and Security Issues
BISAC: POL058000

The European Union has been active in Central Asia since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The impact of its activities have varied across the five independent Central Asian states:
– The political impact of the EU’s policies has been the most evident in Kyrgyzstan and to a slightly lesser extent, in Kazakhstan; on the other hand, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan have experienced much less of an impact thus far;
– The EU’s economic impact has been the strongest in Kazakhstan and to some degree in Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan, while in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan it has been much weaker;
– In the security sphere, the EU’s impact has been the mostly pronounced in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, to a lesser extent in Kazakhstan, minor in Uzbekistan, and virtually non-existent in Turkmenistan;
– The EU’s social policy has had the clearest impact in Kazakhstan, to a lesser extent in Kyrgyzstan, negligible in both Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and is practically unnoticeable in Turkmenistan.

If the overall impact of the European Union on the countries of Central Asia in some areas was significant, today that impact is rather weak (especially in comparison to Russia and China).

As a result, factors contributing to the weakening of the EU’s impact on Central Asia clearly outweigh factors that contribute to a strengthening of the impact in the region. Moreover, from the perspective of contemporary realities, it is accurate to state that “time in Central Asia is working against Europe.” If in the early 1990s Europe represented a type of “ideal partner” for the countries of Central Asia that chose to develop as “European style” secular states, hopes of receiving strong support from Europe (and the West in general) have essentially collapsed.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Acronyms



Introduction: An Overview of the Regional Context

Chapter 1. The European Union impact on Kazakhstan

Chapter 2. The European Union impact on Uzbekistan

Chapter 3. The European Union impact on Kyrgyzstan

Chapter 4. The European Union impact on Tajikistan

Chapter 5. The European Union impact on Turkmenistan


Keywords: European Union, Central Asia, Russia, China, US, Afghanistan, interdisciplinary approach, political, economical, security and social spheres, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, European programs and projects, Agreement on Extended Partnership and Cooperation (AEPC), Border Management Programme in Central Asia (BOMCA), Central Asia Drug Action Programme (CADAP), Central Asia – South Asia (CASA), Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), Eastern Partnership (EaP), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) , European Investment Bank (EIB), European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), Erasmus Mundus, European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), Instrument for Stability (IfS), Individual Partnership Program (IPP, of NATO), Interstate Oil and Gas Transportation to Europe ( INOGATE), Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States (TACIS), Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India (TAPI), Trans-European Mobility Programme for University Studies (TEMPUS), Transport Corridor “Europe – Caucasus – Asia” (TRACECA)

Audience: Politicians, diplomats, academics, analysts, businessmen’s, journalists, students, who are focused on Central Asia.

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