23.06.2023 []

Council of the EU adopts Conclusions on the EU Strategy for Central Asia

Considering Central Asia as a region of strategic importance, the European Union has committed to establish a strong, durable and stable relationship with the five Central Asian countries. Eight years after the adoption of the Central Asia Strategy, the Council welcomes the substantial progress achieved in developing the EU's relations with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as well as with the Central Asian region as a whole.

Here some of the passages related to STI cooperation, especially in Energy, Climate Change and Health issues:

'The Council calls for strengthening trade and energy links between the EU and Central Asian countries and reinforcing cooperation on [...] sustainable management of natural resources.'

'The Council also stresses the need to increase exchange of experience and know-how in innovative technologies, notably in the field of energy efficiency, agriculture and rural development, to encourage the sustainable development of the region.'

'Regarding the sensitive area of shared natural resources, notably water, the Council stresses the importance of promoting regional frameworks of dialogue and increased adhesion to international conventions and legal principles governing trans-boundary resources. Underlining that Central Asia is particularly exposed to natural disasters and vulnerable to the climate change, the Council invites the Commission and the EEAS to support Central Asian countries in strengthening their capacity to address environmental challenges, promote a sustainable framework for resource-sharing and integrate disaster risk reduction, resilience, climate adaptation and mitigation in local, national and regional policies. The EU and its Member States should continue their support for regional initiatives in this sector, notably the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS).'

'EU education programmes, in particular the Erasmus+ programme, should play a key role in helping Central Asian institutions to build capacity, modernise and broaden their cooperation networks and individuals to gain international experience. Scholarships to support mobility and cooperation between Europe and Central Asia should be further promoted. Ensuring links between education, research and labour markets will further promote innovation and employment for young people and contribute to the sustainable economic development of the region.'

Download full conclusion text (PDF)

Source: European Council