Стратегический документ № 15 — Hовая стратегия ЕС по Центральной Азии: рекомендации для реализации, часть II

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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.

Стратегический документ № 14 — Hовая стратегия ЕС по Центральной Азии: рекомендации для реализации, часть I

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In SEnECA policy paper 14, the 2019 EU strategy on Central Asia – “The EU and Central Asia: New Opportunities for a Stronger Partnership” – is examined. The paper primarily focuses on two main areas. First, it assesses the strengths of the new strategy and offers overarching recommendations on its implementation. The general conclusion is that the new strategy is an improvement in comparison to the preceding document adopted in 2007. By avoiding a patronizing tone, the strategy emphasises concrete means on how to work better together with Central Asian countries. The strategy sets a comprehensive agenda that extends from political and economic goals to security and energy goals. On the other hand, the strategy could be more ambitious and clear pledges of financial resources would have contributed to signaling the EU’s ambitions. Among other things, the authors of the SEnECA policy paper recommend closer cooperation among the EU institutions and EU member states, the development of a concrete plan for implementation, an annual review of the strategy, and more focused and comprehensive information about the EU in Central Asia and about Central Asia in Europe.

Second, an in-depth analysis of Part 3 of the strategy (Working Better Together) is presented. SEnECA researchers have developed a scorecard to assign a numerical value on how experts in EU-Central Asian relations perceive the relative importance of each task of the strategy. Based on the results of the scorecard, the experts view Working Better Together as a rather supplemental component of the strategy that should reinforce Part 1 and 2. As suggestions for improvement, the authors recommend to establish a link between European and Central Asian civil society actors and to focus more on independent civil actors in Central Asia rather than on state-sponsored ones. Furthermore, it is recommended to create a short list of policies that the two regions can concentrate on and to establish quantitative and qualitative measurements in order to determine the progress made.

Part 1 and 2 of the new EU strategy on Central Asia will be reviewed in the final policy paper 15 that will be published shortly after policy paper 14.

Стратегический документ № 13 — Центральная Азия в 2030 году: SEnECA прогнозыдля региона и роль Европейского Союза

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On the eve of the adoption of the new EU’s Central Asia Strategy, SEnECA is providing its version of the future of Central Asia for the year 2030 in its latest policy paper. The paper covers the following three areas: 1. political and economic developments in Central Asian countries, 2. intra-regional cooperation in Central Asia and 3. the EU’s engagement with Central Asia.

The paper concludes that in the year 2030, Central Asian countries will be more advanced economically and will be more open to the outside world in economic terms. Freedoms and liberties will progress at a slower pace and their levels will vary strongly from country to country in the region. Although bilateral and multilateral relations inside the region will have improved by 2030, they will not amount to regional integration.

In 2030, the EU will still play an important role in Central Asia, but its comparative influence will be smaller than today. Other powers, Russia and China in particular, will retain and expand their presence. Thus, in a decade, Central Asia will be a different region from today and changes since the 2007 EU’ Strategy to the upcoming will be starker. Therefore, also EU’s approach has to adapt.

The forecasts of SEnECA are based on semi-structured interviews conducted with experts from the SEnECA network, on a focus group discussion from the SEnECA Scenario Worksop in Almaty (January 2019) and on the analysis of academic and other literature.