By Vladimir Socor

ISDP Policy Brief no. 191

December 22, 2015

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The year now ending marked a milestone in Kazakhstan’s rapprochement with the European Union. On December 21, 2015 in Astana, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, and Kazakhstan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yerlan Idrissov, signed the EU-Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. This new-generation Agreement replaces and upgrades an earlier, less ambitious document. Kazakhstan is the first Central Asian country to achieve this status vis-a-vis the European Union. This status puts Kazakhstan ahead of Russia in terms of official relations with the EU; moreover, the Kazakhstan-EU relationship is trouble-free.

By Michael Emerson

ISDP Policy Brief no. 190

December 21, 2015

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On December 21, 2015, the European Union and the Republic of Kazakhstan signed the new Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement in the Kazakh capital, Astana. The new agreement replaced the original one that has been in force since 1999 and it is considered as a significant step for both sides to advance relations and strengthen political and economic cooperation. This development took place in a year when Kazakhstan joined to the World Trade Organization (WTO). In fact, the two agreements are deeply inter-locked: the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement was signed only on condition and after Kazakhstan's accession on WTO. However, Kazakhstan is also a full member of the Eurasian Economic Union, which complicates its relationship with the European Union.

By Johan Engvall and Svante E. Cornell

ISDP Policy Brief no. 189, December 17, 2015

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In the past two years, Kazakhstan has joined the World Trade Organization, obtained a seat at the Asia-Europe Meeting, signed an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the European Union, announced it would host the EXPO-2017 in Astana, and launched a bid for a rotating seat at the United Nations Security Council. This extraordinary high frequency of international engagements is remarkable, but it represents a difference in degree and not nature in Kazakhstan’s diplomatic history. Indeed, since the fall of the Soviet Union Kazakhstan has developed a record of being the most proactive and innovative former Soviet republic in the sphere of international cooperation. 

by S. Frederick Starr and Svante E. Cornell

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In 2015, the EU revised its Strategy for Central Asia, and finalized an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Kazakhstan. These welcome steps will not turn the EU into a regional powerhouse overnight, but provide the EU with a platform to play a constructive role in Central Asia. The EU can achieve that if it avoids focusing on issues where it has little hope of direct influence, such as regional security affairs and domestic governance. Instead, to gain such a role eventually, the EU should focus on revitalizing the promise of its visionary initiative of the 1990s – the Transport Corridor linking Europe to Asia via the Caucasus and Central Asia – which it allowed to slip, handing the initiative to other powers, primarily China.

Svenska Dagbladet, December 12, 2015.

Svante Cornell: EU gör säkerhetspolitiskt självmål mot Turkiet

Det är ett misstag att tro att Turkiet närmar sig Väst, trots att landet redan är en del av Nato och att EU för samtal om medlemskap. President Erdogan går i en helt annan riktning och Europa borde inse att hans politik innebär säkerhetsrisker.

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