30 Nov 2009

The EU Strategy for Central Asia says ‘security’. Does this include Security Sector Reform?

Jos Boonstra

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Central Asia faces a broad range of security challenges. Due to the region’s position at the crossroads between Russia, China and Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and the Caspian Sea it is confronted with a range of trans-national issues such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, organised crime and terrorism. Central Asia also encounters specific regional threats including scarcity of water resources for generating power and irrigation purposes, which is currently causing tension. On a national level the five Central Asian republics face the threat of instability due to bad governance and the harsh impact of the economic crisis. The European Union regards itself as a security actor and takes a keen interest in working with Central Asian states on the basis of joint security interests. This EUCAM policy brief assesses in what aspects of Security Sector Reform the EU is engaged in with Central Asia and in what context these possible activities should be viewed.