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08 Oct 2008

The EU Strategy for Central Asia @ Year One

Neil Melvin / Jos Boonstra

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EUCAM Policy Brief No. 1 / 10 pages

In July 2007, the Council of the European Union adopted “The EU and Central Asia: Strategy for a New Partnership” signaling the EU’s ambition to initiate a fundamental shift in its relations with Central Asia through, for the first time, linking general political goals to a concrete working prospectus in the region. The Strategy sets itself a high bar for achievement, identifying a broad range of priorities for the future relationship between the EU and the states of region. This Policy Brief, the first in a new publication series, assesses the progress made in implementing the Strategy one year on from its adoption. The author, Neil Melvin, finds that the EU has made important progress in strengthening political contacts with Central Asia, but that the Strategy has yet to deliver on its promise to foster a broad range of engagements. Moreover, considerable questions remain about the political direction of the EU’s approach to Central Asia and about the methods that have been employed to promote the Strategy.

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