05 Nov 2009

From Central Asian Strategy into EurAsian Strategy

Michael Emerson

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A recent field trip to the five countries of Central Asia has given CEPS Senior Fellow Michael Emerson cause to reconsider the wisdom of the regional dimension to the EU’s strategy in the area. While acknowledging that a number of wider regional or trans-continental issues that involve Central Asia are also of concern to the EU, he argues in this CEPS Commentary that they should be seen in a much wider context. In his view, these are essentially EurAsian issues, with important long-term implications for the EU’s relations with Russia, China and India. He concludes that it is more important to devise a concept of an ‘extroverted regionalism’ for Central Asia, which would ‘disenclave’ this landlocked territory and open up different external options for each state.