Kazakhstan has presented recommendations for new EU strategy for Central Asia
A session has been chaired by the head of the Consultative Council of the Eurasian Council of Foreign Affairs, Benita Ferrero-Waldner.
Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko and a Kazakh delegation have taken part in the 5th annual session of the Eurasian Council of Foreign Affairs in Great Britain, they said in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan.
Roman Vassilenko told the meeting's participants about President Nursultan Nazarbayev's speech at the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit, which took place in October in Brussels, and his deep concern over the crisis of trust and lack of dialog taking place today in the world.
"I would like to propose that we discuss the details of President Nazarbayev's initiative on strengthening confidence measures and convening leading World leaders meeting in Astana," said Mr. Vassilenko addressing to the participants.
The Kazakh diplomat informed the meeting's participants about the positive dynamics of relations among the Central Asian states and between these countries and the European Union, outlining a number of Astana's common approaches to the EU Strategy for the region being developed.
A focus on connectivity and logistics, development of private entrepreneurship, including women's, strengthening the rule of law, as well as proposals for a more structured and systemic online presentation and promotion of the strategy and all the information related to it were discussed among other things.
The ECFA presented a special Report with its recommendations on the EU's new Strategy for Central Asia, which is to be adopted in the first half of 2019. The Report, which is the synthesis of expert contributions from fifteen international institutions including the United Nations, the EBRD, the OECD, and several universities, contains a chapter of conclusions and recommendations aimed at informing the European External Action Service as it considers its new Strategy for Central Asia covering the period of 2020-2027. The report suggests that the EU's new Strategy for Central Asia should aim to:
Limit its focus to a “realistic assessment of [the EU's] interests and competitive advantages in Central Asia";
Consider regional differences, rather than adopt a blanket approach to Central Asian states;
Shift cooperation from a conference- and dialogue-based relationship to a more practical and operational approach, with hands-on projects and summits in each Central Asian state;
Bring this approach to bear on human rights dialogue with Central Asian states, and move away from the “Eurocentric" perspective which has prevailed until now, with limited results;
Focus on effective “soft power" initiatives such as improving health services, justice, and law enforcement, as well as fighting corruption.
Participants had a chance to deliberate the main points and proposals at the press conference that was organized after the main event. Dr. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, EU Special Representative for Central Asia Peter Burian, former Foreign Minister of Italy and ECFA Advisory Council member Franco Frattini, EBRD Managing Director for Central Asia and Russia Natalia Khanjenkova, members of the Kazakhstan delegation were among those who took part in discussions.