18.11.2014 | Brussels, Belgium

13th meeting of the Cooperation Council between the European Union and the Kyrgyz Republic

The European Union and the Kyrgyz Republic held their thirteenth Cooperation Council meeting on 18 November 2014. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Benedetto Della Vedova, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Italy, as the head of the EU delegation. The delegation of the Kyrgyz Republic was led by Mr Erlan Abdyldaev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic.
The Cooperation Council reaffirmed the commitment of both parties to strengthen relations in a number of cooperation areas and reviewed key aspects of the implementation of the 1999 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and the EU-Central Asia Strategy. The EU welcomed a constructive and open dialogue and the active engagement of the Kyrgyz Republic, including in the EU regional initiatives for Central Asia.

The Cooperation Council discussed developments in the areas of democracy, the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms. EU commended the Kyrgyz leadership’s efforts to stabilise a parliamentary democracy in the country in a challenging context. The EU encouraged the Kyrgyz government to implement lessons of previous elections to ensure that the general elections of 2015 meet international standards and further anchor the principles of democratic governance. The EU called on the Kyrgyz government to pursue reforms leading to transparency, independence of the judiciary, inter-ethnic reconciliation and respect for human rights as key factors for the long-term sustainable development.

The Cooperation Council further discussed economic developments in the Kyrgyz Republic and in the region, including the Eurasian Economic Union. The EU stressed the importance of regional cooperation in search for sustainable settlement regarding energy, water management and environment.

Within the debate on topical international developments, challenges and threats related to transition in Afghanistan were addressed. The EU encouraged Kyrgyz Republic to work closely with its neighbours and reiterated its concrete support to address the issues of regional security and stability.

Further EU support for the development of Kyrgyz Republic

In the margins of the Cooperation Council, the European Commission also announced new development funding of € 184 million to the Kyrgyz Republic for the period 2014-2020. The funds will focus on sectors essential for the democratic and social-economic transition process in Kyrgyz Republic: Rule of Law, Education and Integrated Rural Development. EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said: "The EU has provided development assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic since its independence in 1991, and I am pleased to underline our ongoing commitment to working together going forward, particularly in the key areas of democracy, reducing poverty and achieving sustainable development, as well as in supporting the government's own reform agenda."

On the occasion of the Cooperation Council, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, Erlan Abdyldaev, to discuss among others bilateral cooperation for the time period 2014 – 2020. During this meeting on 17 November, the Minister and the Commissioner signed the development programme (known as Multiannual Indicative Programme) between the EU and the Kyrgyz Republic.

The EU will focus its support to the Kyrgyz Republic in the next seven years on:

  • rule of law (receiving a sector allocation of €38 million)
  • education (receiving a sector allocation of € 72 million)
  • rural development (receiving a sector allocation of €72 million)

The signature confirms the endorsement of the new development programme by both parties. An additional €2 million will go into support measures.

Link to video footage of the press conference

Source and further information: Council of the European Union | Press Office