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Conference summary: Die EU-Politik gegenüber Zentralasien und demSüdkaukasus zwischen regionalem und bilateralem Ansatz

The first international EUCACIS conference took place in Almat on 30/31 August 2017. Against the backdrop of the EU's new Global Strategy the participants discussed the prospects of the Union's relations with the countries of the Southern Caucasus and Central Asia. A report in German was published in issue 1/2017 of the academic quarterly journal and can be downloaded here.


Zentralasien-Analysen No. 111: Katrin Böttger and Julian Plottka: On the Road towards a New EU-Central Asia Strategy

In the current issue of “Zentralasien-Analysen”, Katrin Böttger and Julian Plottka published an article on the update of the 2007 EU-Central Asia Strategy. The authors claim that such an update should be in line with current changes in global geopolitics. In doing so, attention must be paid to coherence between the strategy’s aims and the recently adopted Global Strategy of the EU as well as the funding instruments for the region. Against this backdrop, this article aims at stimulating a debate on the update of the strategy as it is envisaged by the EU Special Representative for Central Asia for 2019. To this end, the development of the EU’s strategic priorities for Central Asia since 2007 will be portrayed and the debate will be encouraged with regard to three different areas: keeping in mind the question whether Central Asia can be addressed as a single region, the article suggests to focus more on preconditions for regional cooperation than on specific cross-border problem solving. In order to put the Global Strategy’s “principled pragmatism” into practice in Central Asia, the authors advocate a shift away from the EU foreign policy’s belief in progress. Furthermore, the article shows that the focus on specific priorities below the strategic level, as requested during the previous review of the Central Asia Strategy, has already been established – a circumstance that should be reflected on in the new strategy.



International Conference on “The EU, Central Asia and the Caucasus in the International System” took place in Almaty, Kazakhstan

13. September 2016

On 30 and 31 August 2016, the international conference “The EU, Central Asia and the Caucasus in the International System” (EUCACIS) took place in Almaty (Kazakhstan). The conference served as the kick-off event for the identically named PhD Support Programme which is jointly organised by the Centre international de formation européenne (CIFE) and the Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP) and funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission. The event also profited from financial support of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.

The conference has been attended by experts and contributors from Central Asia, the Southern Caucasus, Europe, China, India and Russia who discussed various aspects of the relations between the EU, Central Asia and the Caucasus as well as current developments and challenges in policy fields such as water, resources and trade, security and foreign policy.

In his keynote speech, Dr Michael Emerson, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), illustrated areas of intra- and inter-regional cooperation and regionalization in fields such as transport or trade, but also a number of cleavages between the regions and single countries that emerge. Prof. Dr Mirzokhid Rakhimov, Head of the Contemporary History and International Relations Department of the Institute of History at the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan, asked in his keynote speech about “The New Great Power Contest for Central Asia?”. In subsequent panel discussions, experts examined foreign policy options of the Central Asian and South Caucasian states and attempts of regionalisation in both regions.

During a final selection process on the brink of the conference, the fellows of the PhD Support Programme were selected among the applicants from Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan as well as from the Chinese region of Xinjiang and the Indian region of Kashmir. For the upcoming three years, the EUCACIS fellows will receive scholarships and academic support while writing their doctoral thesis.