On the road towards a new EU-Central Asia Strategy

In the current issue of “Zentralasien-Analysen”, Katrin Böttger and Julian Plottka published an article on the update of the 2007 EU-Central Asia Strategy. The authors claim that such an update should be in line with current changes in global geopol­itics. In doing so, attention must be paid to coherence between the strategy’s aims and the recently adopted Global Strategy of the EU as well as the funding instru­ments for the region. Against this backdrop, this article aims at stimu­lating a debate on the update of the strategy as it is envisaged by the EU Special Repre­sen­tative for Central Asia for 2019. To this end, the devel­opment of the EU’s strategic prior­ities for Central Asia since 2007 will be portrayed and the debate will be encouraged with regard to three different areas: keeping in mind the question whether Central Asia can be addressed as a single region, the article suggests to focus more on precon­di­tions for regional cooper­ation than on specific cross-border problem solving. In order to put the Global Strategy’s “principled pragmatism” into practice in Central Asia, the authors advocate a shift away from the EU foreign policy’s belief in progress. Furthermore, the article shows that the focus on specific prior­ities below the strategic level, as requested during the previous review of the Central Asia Strategy, has already been estab­lished – a circum­stance that should be reflected on in the new strategy.

No. 111 of “Zentralasien-Analysen” featuring the article (full text) can be downloaded here.