Final Conference of SEnECA in Brussels

The SEnECA Final Confe­rence “What Future for EU-Central Asia Relations?” was organised by the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA) and the Centre inter­na­tional de formation européenne (CIFE) in Brussels on 14 and 15 November 2019. 215 repre­sen­ta­tives* from research, civil society and politics as well as journa­lists working in the field of EU-Central Asia relations attended the final confe­rence of the Horizon 2020 project “SEnECA — Streng­t­hening and Energizing EU-Central Asia relations”. The confe­rence focused on EU-Central Asia coope­ration in the fields of education and research, commu­ni­cation, culture as a catalyst for social change and future scenarios of relations for 2030. The SEnECA project has developed recom­men­da­tions for the possible imple­men­tation of a new EU strategy on Central Asia. Ambassador Peter Burian, EU Special Repre­sen­tative for Central Asia, empha­sized that Central Asia should not be regarded as a transit region only, but as a place where “trains stop”, referring to how connec­tivity should play a key role in bringing prosperity to Central Asian societies. An intri­guing discussion took place during the panel on culture as a catalyst for social change. The question was raised how cultural projects can serve as an engine for economic develo­pment and a tool to promote human rights and justice.