In policy paper 15, SEnECA researchers continue their evaluation of the recently published EU Strategy on Central Asia. In the previous policy paper, Part 3 of the strategy (Working better together) was examined, and general recommendations on the implementation were provided. In this paper, Part 1 (Partnering for resilience) and Part 2 (Partnering for prosperity) of the strategy are assessed. Here, the authors utilize a scorecard that places a numerical value on each initiative of the strategy to measure their relative importance. Thus, the paper provides a set of recommendations on the implementation of the tasks that ranked the highest on the SEnECA scorecard.
With regard to Partnering for resilience, the highest-rated initiatives were the strengthening of cooperation on border management and climate change and supporting human rights in the region. The authors recommend that the EU share its border management expertise with Central Asian countries, include civil society actors and businesses in the fight against climate change, and promote labour standards and women empowerment in Central Asia. With regard to Partnering for prosperity, the highest-rated initiatives concerned improvements in the business environment, assistance in the development of transport corridors, and the increase of student mobility between the EU and Central Asia. The authors suggest to directly support small and medium businesses, to assist Central Asian transportation and logistics, and to raise awareness of EU research and student exchange programs. These recommendations are made in the effort to highlight crucial aspects of the new strategy so that these initiatives are properly engaged and implemented over the next decade.
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We suggest creating more research grant calls that are specific to the cooperation of the EU and Central Asia. The grants should include various fields ranging from general policy issues (such as SEnECA) to specific policy issues (e.g. economic policies, agricultural policies, education policies) to specific fields (e.g. water management, agricultural practices, women’s rights).
[…] we suggest to establish a Women’s League in Central Asia (plus Afghanistan) to address issues of protection against violence, inequality, child marriage, and to promote equal representation of women in public service through training programmes.
Demonstrate in local languages and regional lingua franca Russian, where appropriate, what the EU is doing on the ground and what it stands for […].