BETA


2015/2220(INI) Implementation and review of the EU-Central Asia strategy

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead AFET MESZERICS Tamás (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE) KUKAN Eduard (icon: PPE PPE), LÓPEZ AGUILAR Juan Fernando (icon: S&D S&D), NART Javier (icon: ALDE ALDE), SCHOLZ Helmut (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL)
Committee Opinion DEVE SCHÖPFLIN György (icon: PPE PPE) Lola SÁNCHEZ CALDENTEY (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL)
Committee Opinion INTA BORRELLI David (icon: EFDD EFDD) Patrick LE HYARIC (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL), Joachim STARBATTY (icon: ECR ECR), Hannu TAKKULA (icon: ALDE ALDE)
Committee Opinion FEMM GIRLING Julie (icon: ECR ECR) Mariya GABRIEL (icon: PPE PPE)
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
RoP 54

Events

2016/04/13
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2016/04/13
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The European Parliament adopted by 605 votes to 66 with 25 abstentions, a resolution on the implementation and review of the EU-Central Asia Strategy.

General provisions on EU commitments: Members stressed the strong strategic, political and economic interest of the EU in strengthening its bilateral and multilateral relations with all the Central Asian countries, on the basis of common shared values as stated in the existing Partnership and Cooperation Agreements between the EU and Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and in the agreement - albeit not yet in force - with Turkmenistan.

They pointed out, however, that the strategic approach adopted to date to shaping relations with Central Asian countries has demonstrated only limited viability and success . They called on the EU and the five Central Asian countries to make serious efforts to achieve the aims and goals of this strategy .

On the other hand, Parliament welcomed the review of the EU-Central Asia Strategy conducted by the EEAS, the Commission and the Council in 2015. Nevertheless, it took the view that the priorities, objectives and targets should be aligned more specifically to the interests, requirements and framework conditions of the Central Asian partner states, taking account of the differences between the countries of the region and of the uniqueness of each. The objectives should be more precisely defined through individual, tailor-made country action plans , and accompanied by benchmarks and indicators with a reasonable timeframe for completion.

In this regard, the EU is called upon to:

· cooperate more intensively on an ad hoc basis with those Central Asian countries that wish to go beyond the EU Strategy for Central Asia;

· ensure that the that the disbursement of EU funds is based on measurable progress with regard, in particular, to the fields of democratisation, preventing and fighting corruption, free and fair elections, human rights, ending drug trafficking, respect for labour rules, good governance, the rule of law, development, human security and good neighbourly relations.

Members welcomed the re-establishment of the post of EU Special Representative (EUSR) for Central Asia and expected that the newly appointed EUSR will make an important contribution to the implementation of the strategy.

Democratisation, human rights and the rule of law: Parliament stressed that respect for human rights and democracy must be at the core of the EU strategy. It regretted that overall respect for democratic standards, human rights and fundamental freedoms has not yet reached an acceptable level . It recommended the EU to tailor its human rights policy and external financing instruments better, keeping a consistent long-term democratic reform as the guiding light.

Strongly condemning the continued persecution of human rights defenders, opposition political figures and journalists in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, Members called on the EEAS to use all means at its disposal to act swiftly in their defence.

Parliament noted that the EU must make it a priority to promote freedom of religion and belief and the rights of women, minors and minorities . More specifically, as regards women , the Central Asian countries are called upon to treat violence against women as a criminal offence, to properly investigate all reported cases and to implement measures to guarantee protection, assistance and access to justice for victims.

Education and youth: the EU is urged to devote more attention to the promotion of quality education among young people in the Central Asian countries, given the positive effects in terms of social inclusion, social cohesion and stability, and building sustainable democratic societies, and as the best form of prevention against violent extremism and radicalisation among youth in the region .

Members considered that the EU's positive role in the region should be advanced via education and people-to-people contacts. In this regard, they recalled the importance of the EU’s international exchange programmes, such as Erasmus +, Erasmus Mundus and Erasmus Tempus.

Economic integration, trade and sustainable development: Members underlined the growing importance of trade relations between the EU and Central Asia, with the EU now the first trading partner in the region .

Concerned at the lack of socio-economic development, which is stalled and uneven, the lack of state transparency and the consequent corruption, poor governance, weak institutional framework, lack of respect for the rule of law and low participation of civil society, Members stressed the need for the EU to further step up trade and investment relations with the Central Asian countries and for these countries to tackle corruption and promote a stable environment in order to attract foreign investment.

As regards development aid , Members were of the opinion that development aid should be disbursed only in countries with a genuine commitment to the alleviation of poverty, equal and sustainable socioeconomic progress and respect for human rights, and that those countries must demonstrate that they have effective anti-corruption policies and allow the EU to monitor implementation of the corresponding efforts.

Parliament encouraged the mainstreaming of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the EU's development agenda in the region and reiterated that including the SDGs will result in more comprehensive sustainable development in the Central Asia region.

Energy, environment, water, and transport: underlining the need for energy supply and diversification to be a key element of the EU-Central Asia strategy, Parliament stressed the need for more intensive dialogue on infrastructure development, including energy and transport networks as well as high-capacity internet connections. It regarded the region as an additional potential source of energy security for the EU , with particular reference to the potential for increased cooperation with Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. It called for renewed efforts to cope with and tackle the dramatic consequences of the environmental disaster of the drying-up of the Aral Sea.

Regional cooperation, security challenges and border management: Parliament supported the EU’s long-term goal of transforming the nascent EU-Central Asia High- Level Security Dialogue into a genuine forum for cooperation in addressing common security challenges in the region and beyond its borders. It highlighted the need to closer interlink the EU’s approach to Central Asia with Afghanistan and adapt existing policies to the post-2014 strategy for Afghanistan.

Stressing the importance of cooperation between the EU and the countries of Central Asia in preventing and combating terrorism, Members were deeply concerned about the activities of the extremist organisation Islamic State (IS) in recruiting growing numbers of Central Asian citizens to travel to the Middle East to fight or otherwise support IS, Al-Nusra and other terrorist and extremist organisations, prompted in part by political marginalisation and bleak economic prospects. They recognised that should a significant portion of radicalised Central Asian citizens return to their home countries, they risk challenging security and stability throughout Central Asia, Afghanistan, Iran, Russia, China and India.

Parliament called on the Council, the Commission and the EEAS to prioritise in their relations with the Central Asian states the reform of the security sector , including better funding and training, promoting religious freedom in the framework of the secular constitutions, preventive aspects of countering terrorism and efforts at rehabilitating former jihadists, as components of an overall strategy for dealing with the challenge of Islamist extremism.

Lastly, Parliament called on all international parties with influence in the region to encourage Central Asian states to make a concerted effort to better coordinate cooperation between their security services , including with respect to intelligence-sharing.

Documents
2016/04/13
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2016/04/12
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2016/03/08
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
Details

The Committee on Foreign Affairs adopted the own-initiative report by Tamás MESZERICS (Greens/EFA, HU) on the implementation and review of the EU-Central Asia Strategy.

General provisions on EU commitments : Members stressed the strong strategic, political and economic interest of the EU in strengthening its bilateral and multilateral relations with all the Central Asian countries, on the basis of common shared values as stated in the existing Partnership and Cooperation Agreements between the EU and Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and in the agreement - albeit not yet in force - with Turkmenistan.

They pointed out, however, that the strategic approach adopted to date to shaping relations with Central Asian countries has demonstrated only limited viability and success . They called on the EU and the five Central Asian countries to make serious efforts to achieve the aims and goals of this strategy.

On the other hand, Members welcomed the review of the EU-Central Asia Strategy conducted by the EEAS, the Commission and the Council in 2015. Nevertheless, they took the view that the priorities, objectives and targets should be aligned more specifically to the interests, requirements and framework conditions of the Central Asian partner states, taking account of the differences between the countries of the region and of the uniqueness of each. It should be more precisely defined through individual, tailor-made country action plans , and accompanied by benchmarks and indicators with a reasonable timeframe for completion.

In this regard, the EU is called upon to:

cooperate more intensively on an ad hoc basis with those Central Asian countries that wish to go beyond the EU Strategy for Central Asia; ensure that the disbursement of EU funds should be clearly incentive- and performance-based; increase its political visibility in the Central Asia region; adopt a concrete action plan with measureable benchmarks enabling proper evaluation of progress made in the future. cooperate with the aid and development projects of the US in the fields of human security, environment, education and climate policy.

Members welcomed the re - establishment of the post of EU Special Representative (EUSR) for Central Asia after a year-long gap, and expected that the newly appointed EUSR will make an important contribution to the implementation of the strategy.

Democratisation, human rights and the rule of law : Members stressed that respect for human rights and democracy must be at the core of the EU strategy. They regretted that overall respect for democratic standards, human rights and fundamental freedoms has not yet reached an acceptable level . The report recommended the EU to tailor its human rights policy and external financing instruments better, keeping a consistent long-term democratic reform as the guiding light.

Strongly condemning the continued persecution of human rights defenders, opposition political figures and journalists in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, Members called on the EEAS to use all means at its disposal to act swiftly in their defence.

The report noted that the EU must make it a priority to promote freedom of religion and belief and the rights of women, minors and minorities. More specifically, as regards women , the Central Asian countries are called upon to treat violence against women as a criminal offence, to properly investigate all reported cases and to implement measures to guarantee protection, assistance and access to justice for victims.

Education and youth : the EU is urged to devote more attention to the promotion of quality education among young people in the Central Asian countries, given the positive effects in terms of social inclusion, social cohesion and stability, and building sustainable democratic societies, and as the best form of prevention against violent extremism and radicalisation among youth in the region.

They consider that the EU's positive role in the region should be advanced via education and people-to-people contacts. In this regard, they recalled the importance of the EU’s international exchange programmes, such as Erasmus +, Erasmus Mundus and Erasmus Tempus.

Economic integration, trade and sustainable development : concerned at the lack of socio-economic development, which is stalled and uneven, the lack of state transparency and the consequent corruption, poor governance, weak institutional framework, lack of respect for the rule of law and low participation of civil society, Members stressed the need for the EU to further step up trade and investment relations with the Central Asian countries and for these countries to tackle corruption and promote a stable environment in order to attract foreign investment.

As regards development aid , Members are of the opinion that development aid should be disbursed only in countries with a genuine commitment to the alleviation of poverty, equal and sustainable socioeconomic progress and respect for human rights, and that those countries must demonstrate that they have effective anti-corruption policies and allow the EU to monitor implementation of the corresponding efforts.

Members encouraged the mainstreaming of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the EU's development agenda in the region and reiterated that including the SDGs will result in more comprehensive sustainable development in the Central Asia region.

Energy, environment, water, and transport : the report stressed the need for more intensive dialogue on infrastructure development, including energy and transport networks as well as high-capacity internet connections. It regards the region as an additional potential source of energy security for the EU , with particular reference to the potential for increased cooperation with Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

Regional cooperation, security challenges and border management : highlighting the importance of cooperation between the EU and the countries of Central Asia in preventing and combating terrorism, Members are deeply concerned about the activities of the extremist organisation Islamic State (IS) in recruiting growing numbers of Central Asian citizens to travel to the Middle East to fight or otherwise support IS, Al-Nusra and other terrorist and extremist organisations, prompted in part by political marginalisation and bleak economic prospects. They recognise that should a significant portion of radicalised Central Asian citizens return to their home countries, they risk challenging security and stability throughout Central Asia, Afghanistan, Iran, Russia, China and India.

Members called on the Council, the Commission and the EEAS to prioritise in their relations with the Central Asian states the reform of the security sector , including better funding and training, promoting religious freedom in the framework of the secular constitutions, preventive aspects of countering terrorism and efforts at rehabilitating former jihadists, as components of an overall strategy for dealing with the challenge of Islamist extremism.

Lastly, the report called on all international parties with influence in the region to encourage Central Asian states to make a concerted effort to better coordinate cooperation between their security services, including with respect to intelligence-sharing .

Documents
2016/02/23
   EP - Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
2015/12/11
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2015/12/11
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2015/12/04
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2015/12/03
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2015/10/07
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2015/10/07
   EP - SCHÖPFLIN György (PPE) appointed as rapporteur in DEVE
2015/09/21
   EP - BORRELLI David (EFDD) appointed as rapporteur in INTA
2015/09/16
   EP - GIRLING Julie (ECR) appointed as rapporteur in FEMM
2015/09/10
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
2015/01/26
   EP - MESZERICS Tamás (Verts/ALE) appointed as rapporteur in AFET

Documents

Activities

Votes

A8-0051/2016 - Tamás Meszerics - § 90

2016/04/13 Outcome: +: 544, -: 142, 0: 11
IT PL DE RO ES GB BE BG PT HU SK CZ AT FR DK HR FI LT NL SI SE MT LU LV EE IE CY EL
Total
68
50
84
28
49
60
21
16
21
20
13
20
17
73
12
11
13
10
25
8
19
5
5
7
5
10
6
20
icon: PPE PPE
199

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1
2

Luxembourg PPE

2

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1

Cyprus PPE

1
icon: S&D S&D
180

Croatia S&D

2

Netherlands S&D

3

Slovenia S&D

For (1)

1

Malta S&D

2

Luxembourg S&D

Abstain (1)

1

Latvia S&D

1

Estonia S&D

For (1)

1

Ireland S&D

For (1)

1

Cyprus S&D

2
icon: ALDE ALDE
67

Romania ALDE

2

United Kingdom ALDE

1

Austria ALDE

For (1)

1

Croatia ALDE

2

Slovenia ALDE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg ALDE

For (1)

1

Latvia ALDE

1

Estonia ALDE

2

Ireland ALDE

For (1)

1
icon: ECR ECR
69

Italy ECR

2

Romania ECR

For (1)

1

Bulgaria ECR

2

Czechia ECR

Against (1)

2

Croatia ECR

For (1)

1
2

Lithuania ECR

1

Netherlands ECR

2

Cyprus ECR

1

Greece ECR

Against (1)

1
icon: EFDD EFDD
35

Poland EFDD

1

Germany EFDD

Against (1)

1

Czechia EFDD

Against (1)

1

France EFDD

Abstain (1)

1

Lithuania EFDD

For (1)

1

Sweden EFDD

2
icon: NI NI
14

Italy NI

For (1)

1

Poland NI

Abstain (1)

1

Germany NI

Against (1)

2

United Kingdom NI

For (1)

1

France NI

Against (1)

2
icon: ENF ENF
36

Poland ENF

2

United Kingdom ENF

Against (1)

1

Belgium ENF

Against (1)

1

Netherlands ENF

4
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
47
3

United Kingdom Verts/ALE

5

Belgium Verts/ALE

For (1)

Against (1)

2

Hungary Verts/ALE

2

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Croatia Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Finland Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Lithuania Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Netherlands Verts/ALE

2

Slovenia Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1
4

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Estonia Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
49

Italy GUE/NGL

2

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

Portugal GUE/NGL

Against (1)

4

Czechia GUE/NGL

2

Denmark GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

Finland GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

Netherlands GUE/NGL

3

Sweden GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1
4

Cyprus GUE/NGL

2

A8-0051/2016 - Tamás Meszerics - Résolution

2016/04/13 Outcome: +: 605, -: 66, 0: 25
DE IT PL ES GB RO FR BE CZ HU BG NL SE PT FI SK HR AT LT DK SI EL LV LU IE EE MT CY
Total
87
66
50
48
61
28
72
21
20
20
16
25
19
21
13
12
11
17
10
12
8
20
7
5
10
5
5
6
icon: PPE PPE
198
2

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg PPE

2

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1

Cyprus PPE

1
icon: S&D S&D
180

Netherlands S&D

3

Croatia S&D

2

Slovenia S&D

For (1)

1

Latvia S&D

1

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Ireland S&D

For (1)

1

Estonia S&D

For (1)

1

Malta S&D

2

Cyprus S&D

2
icon: ALDE ALDE
67

United Kingdom ALDE

1

Romania ALDE

2

Croatia ALDE

2

Austria ALDE

For (1)

1

Slovenia ALDE

For (1)

1

Latvia ALDE

1

Luxembourg ALDE

For (1)

1

Ireland ALDE

For (1)

1

Estonia ALDE

2
icon: ECR ECR
70

Italy ECR

2

Romania ECR

For (1)

1

Czechia ECR

2

Bulgaria ECR

2

Netherlands ECR

2
2

Slovakia ECR

2

Croatia ECR

For (1)

1

Lithuania ECR

1

Greece ECR

Against (1)

1

Cyprus ECR

1
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
47

United Kingdom Verts/ALE

5

Belgium Verts/ALE

2

Hungary Verts/ALE

2

Netherlands Verts/ALE

2

Finland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Croatia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Lithuania Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Slovenia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

Abstain (1)

1

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Estonia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
49

Italy GUE/NGL

2

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

1

France GUE/NGL

4

Czechia GUE/NGL

2

Netherlands GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

3

Sweden GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Portugal GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

4

Finland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Denmark GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Ireland GUE/NGL

Against (1)

4

Cyprus GUE/NGL

2
icon: EFDD EFDD
35

Germany EFDD

Against (1)

1

Poland EFDD

1

France EFDD

1

Czechia EFDD

Against (1)

1

Sweden EFDD

2

Lithuania EFDD

For (1)

1
icon: NI NI
13

Germany NI

Against (1)

2

Italy NI

For (1)

1

Poland NI

Against (1)

1

United Kingdom NI

For (1)

1

France NI

Against (1)

1
3
icon: ENF ENF
36

Poland ENF

2

United Kingdom ENF

Against (1)

1

Belgium ENF

Abstain (1)

1

Netherlands ENF

4

Austria ENF

3
AmendmentsDossier
521 2015/2220(INI)
2015/11/12 DEVE 40 amendments...
source: 571.518
2015/11/17 FEMM 44 amendments...
source: 571.747
2015/11/25 INTA 31 amendments...
source: 572.871
2015/12/11 AFET 406 amendments...
source: 571.717

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

committees/0
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AFET
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committees/2
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INTA
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committees/2
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committee
INTA
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rapporteur
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committees/3
type
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committee_full
Womens Rights and Gender Equality
committee
FEMM
rapporteur
name: GIRLING Julie date: 2015-09-16T00:00:00 group: European Conservatives and Reformists abbr: ECR
committees/3
type
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body
EP
associated
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committee_full
Womens Rights and Gender Equality
committee
FEMM
date
2015-09-16T00:00:00
rapporteur
name: GIRLING Julie group: European Conservatives and Reformists abbr: ECR
events/2/docs/0/url
Old
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A8-2016-0051&language=EN
New
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/A-8-2016-0051_EN.html
events/5/docs/0/url
Old
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P8-TA-2016-0121
New
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-8-2016-0121_EN.html
committees/0
type
Responsible Committee
body
EP
associated
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committee_full
Foreign Affairs
committee
AFET
date
2015-01-26T00:00:00
rapporteur
name: MESZERICS Tamás group: Greens/European Free Alliance abbr: Verts/ALE
shadows
committees/0
type
Responsible Committee
body
EP
associated
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committee_full
Foreign Affairs
committee
AFET
date
2015-01-26T00:00:00
rapporteur
name: MESZERICS Tamás group: Greens/European Free Alliance abbr: Verts/ALE
shadows
committees/1
type
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body
EP
associated
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committee_full
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committee
DEVE
date
2015-10-07T00:00:00
rapporteur
name: SCHÖPFLIN György group: European People's Party (Christian Democrats) abbr: PPE
committees/1
type
Committee Opinion
body
EP
associated
False
committee_full
Development
committee
DEVE
date
2015-10-07T00:00:00
rapporteur
name: SCHÖPFLIN György group: Group of European People's Party abbr: EPP
activities
  • date: 2015-09-10T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP shadows: group: EPP name: KUKAN Eduard group: S&D name: LÓPEZ AGUILAR Juan Fernando group: ALDE name: NART Javier group: GUE/NGL name: SCHOLZ Helmut responsible: True committee: AFET date: 2015-01-26T00:00:00 committee_full: Foreign Affairs rapporteur: group: Verts/ALE name: MESZERICS Tamás body: EP responsible: False committee: DEVE date: 2015-10-07T00:00:00 committee_full: Development rapporteur: group: EPP name: SCHÖPFLIN György body: EP responsible: False committee: FEMM date: 2015-09-16T00:00:00 committee_full: Women’s Rights and Gender Equality rapporteur: group: ECR name: GIRLING Julie body: EP responsible: False committee: INTA date: 2015-09-21T00:00:00 committee_full: International Trade rapporteur: group: EFD name: BORRELLI David
  • date: 2016-02-23T00:00:00 body: EP type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP shadows: group: EPP name: KUKAN Eduard group: S&D name: LÓPEZ AGUILAR Juan Fernando group: ALDE name: NART Javier group: GUE/NGL name: SCHOLZ Helmut responsible: True committee: AFET date: 2015-01-26T00:00:00 committee_full: Foreign Affairs rapporteur: group: Verts/ALE name: MESZERICS Tamás body: EP responsible: False committee: DEVE date: 2015-10-07T00:00:00 committee_full: Development rapporteur: group: EPP name: SCHÖPFLIN György body: EP responsible: False committee: FEMM date: 2015-09-16T00:00:00 committee_full: Women’s Rights and Gender Equality rapporteur: group: ECR name: GIRLING Julie body: EP responsible: False committee: INTA date: 2015-09-21T00:00:00 committee_full: International Trade rapporteur: group: EFD name: BORRELLI David
  • date: 2016-03-08T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A8-2016-0051&language=EN type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading title: A8-0051/2016 body: EP type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
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  • date: 2015-10-07T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE567.841 title: PE567.841 type: Committee draft report body: EP
  • date: 2015-12-03T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE569.799&secondRef=02 title: PE569.799 committee: DEVE type: Committee opinion body: EP
  • date: 2015-12-04T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE569.696&secondRef=02 title: PE569.696 committee: FEMM type: Committee opinion body: EP
  • date: 2015-12-11T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE571.444&secondRef=02 title: PE571.444 committee: INTA type: Committee opinion body: EP
  • date: 2015-12-11T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE571.717 title: PE571.717 type: Amendments tabled in committee body: EP
events
  • date: 2015-09-10T00:00:00 type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2016-02-23T00:00:00 type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2016-03-08T00:00:00 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A8-2016-0051&language=EN title: A8-0051/2016 summary: The Committee on Foreign Affairs adopted the own-initiative report by Tamás MESZERICS (Greens/EFA, HU) on the implementation and review of the EU-Central Asia Strategy. General provisions on EU commitments : Members stressed the strong strategic, political and economic interest of the EU in strengthening its bilateral and multilateral relations with all the Central Asian countries, on the basis of common shared values as stated in the existing Partnership and Cooperation Agreements between the EU and Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and in the agreement - albeit not yet in force - with Turkmenistan. They pointed out, however, that the strategic approach adopted to date to shaping relations with Central Asian countries has demonstrated only limited viability and success . They called on the EU and the five Central Asian countries to make serious efforts to achieve the aims and goals of this strategy. On the other hand, Members welcomed the review of the EU-Central Asia Strategy conducted by the EEAS, the Commission and the Council in 2015. Nevertheless, they took the view that the priorities, objectives and targets should be aligned more specifically to the interests, requirements and framework conditions of the Central Asian partner states, taking account of the differences between the countries of the region and of the uniqueness of each. It should be more precisely defined through individual, tailor-made country action plans , and accompanied by benchmarks and indicators with a reasonable timeframe for completion. In this regard, the EU is called upon to: cooperate more intensively on an ad hoc basis with those Central Asian countries that wish to go beyond the EU Strategy for Central Asia; ensure that the disbursement of EU funds should be clearly incentive- and performance-based; increase its political visibility in the Central Asia region; adopt a concrete action plan with measureable benchmarks enabling proper evaluation of progress made in the future. cooperate with the aid and development projects of the US in the fields of human security, environment, education and climate policy. Members welcomed the re - establishment of the post of EU Special Representative (EUSR) for Central Asia after a year-long gap, and expected that the newly appointed EUSR will make an important contribution to the implementation of the strategy. Democratisation, human rights and the rule of law : Members stressed that respect for human rights and democracy must be at the core of the EU strategy. They regretted that overall respect for democratic standards, human rights and fundamental freedoms has not yet reached an acceptable level . The report recommended the EU to tailor its human rights policy and external financing instruments better, keeping a consistent long-term democratic reform as the guiding light. Strongly condemning the continued persecution of human rights defenders, opposition political figures and journalists in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, Members called on the EEAS to use all means at its disposal to act swiftly in their defence. The report noted that the EU must make it a priority to promote freedom of religion and belief and the rights of women, minors and minorities. More specifically, as regards women , the Central Asian countries are called upon to treat violence against women as a criminal offence, to properly investigate all reported cases and to implement measures to guarantee protection, assistance and access to justice for victims. Education and youth : the EU is urged to devote more attention to the promotion of quality education among young people in the Central Asian countries, given the positive effects in terms of social inclusion, social cohesion and stability, and building sustainable democratic societies, and as the best form of prevention against violent extremism and radicalisation among youth in the region. They consider that the EU's positive role in the region should be advanced via education and people-to-people contacts. In this regard, they recalled the importance of the EU’s international exchange programmes, such as Erasmus +, Erasmus Mundus and Erasmus Tempus. Economic integration, trade and sustainable development : concerned at the lack of socio-economic development, which is stalled and uneven, the lack of state transparency and the consequent corruption, poor governance, weak institutional framework, lack of respect for the rule of law and low participation of civil society, Members stressed the need for the EU to further step up trade and investment relations with the Central Asian countries and for these countries to tackle corruption and promote a stable environment in order to attract foreign investment. As regards development aid , Members are of the opinion that development aid should be disbursed only in countries with a genuine commitment to the alleviation of poverty, equal and sustainable socioeconomic progress and respect for human rights, and that those countries must demonstrate that they have effective anti-corruption policies and allow the EU to monitor implementation of the corresponding efforts. Members encouraged the mainstreaming of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the EU's development agenda in the region and reiterated that including the SDGs will result in more comprehensive sustainable development in the Central Asia region. Energy, environment, water, and transport : the report stressed the need for more intensive dialogue on infrastructure development, including energy and transport networks as well as high-capacity internet connections. It regards the region as an additional potential source of energy security for the EU , with particular reference to the potential for increased cooperation with Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Regional cooperation, security challenges and border management : highlighting the importance of cooperation between the EU and the countries of Central Asia in preventing and combating terrorism, Members are deeply concerned about the activities of the extremist organisation Islamic State (IS) in recruiting growing numbers of Central Asian citizens to travel to the Middle East to fight or otherwise support IS, Al-Nusra and other terrorist and extremist organisations, prompted in part by political marginalisation and bleak economic prospects. They recognise that should a significant portion of radicalised Central Asian citizens return to their home countries, they risk challenging security and stability throughout Central Asia, Afghanistan, Iran, Russia, China and India. Members called on the Council, the Commission and the EEAS to prioritise in their relations with the Central Asian states the reform of the security sector , including better funding and training, promoting religious freedom in the framework of the secular constitutions, preventive aspects of countering terrorism and efforts at rehabilitating former jihadists, as components of an overall strategy for dealing with the challenge of Islamist extremism. Lastly, the report called on all international parties with influence in the region to encourage Central Asian states to make a concerted effort to better coordinate cooperation between their security services, including with respect to intelligence-sharing .
  • date: 2016-04-12T00:00:00 type: Debate in Parliament body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20160412&type=CRE title: Debate in Parliament
  • date: 2016-04-13T00:00:00 type: Results of vote in Parliament body: EP docs: url: https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=26896&l=en title: Results of vote in Parliament
  • date: 2016-04-13T00:00:00 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P8-TA-2016-0121 title: T8-0121/2016 summary: The European Parliament adopted by 605 votes to 66 with 25 abstentions, a resolution on the implementation and review of the EU-Central Asia Strategy. General provisions on EU commitments: Members stressed the strong strategic, political and economic interest of the EU in strengthening its bilateral and multilateral relations with all the Central Asian countries, on the basis of common shared values as stated in the existing Partnership and Cooperation Agreements between the EU and Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and in the agreement - albeit not yet in force - with Turkmenistan. They pointed out, however, that the strategic approach adopted to date to shaping relations with Central Asian countries has demonstrated only limited viability and success . They called on the EU and the five Central Asian countries to make serious efforts to achieve the aims and goals of this strategy . On the other hand, Parliament welcomed the review of the EU-Central Asia Strategy conducted by the EEAS, the Commission and the Council in 2015. Nevertheless, it took the view that the priorities, objectives and targets should be aligned more specifically to the interests, requirements and framework conditions of the Central Asian partner states, taking account of the differences between the countries of the region and of the uniqueness of each. The objectives should be more precisely defined through individual, tailor-made country action plans , and accompanied by benchmarks and indicators with a reasonable timeframe for completion. In this regard, the EU is called upon to: · cooperate more intensively on an ad hoc basis with those Central Asian countries that wish to go beyond the EU Strategy for Central Asia; · ensure that the that the disbursement of EU funds is based on measurable progress with regard, in particular, to the fields of democratisation, preventing and fighting corruption, free and fair elections, human rights, ending drug trafficking, respect for labour rules, good governance, the rule of law, development, human security and good neighbourly relations. Members welcomed the re-establishment of the post of EU Special Representative (EUSR) for Central Asia and expected that the newly appointed EUSR will make an important contribution to the implementation of the strategy. Democratisation, human rights and the rule of law: Parliament stressed that respect for human rights and democracy must be at the core of the EU strategy. It regretted that overall respect for democratic standards, human rights and fundamental freedoms has not yet reached an acceptable level . It recommended the EU to tailor its human rights policy and external financing instruments better, keeping a consistent long-term democratic reform as the guiding light. Strongly condemning the continued persecution of human rights defenders, opposition political figures and journalists in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, Members called on the EEAS to use all means at its disposal to act swiftly in their defence. Parliament noted that the EU must make it a priority to promote freedom of religion and belief and the rights of women, minors and minorities . More specifically, as regards women , the Central Asian countries are called upon to treat violence against women as a criminal offence, to properly investigate all reported cases and to implement measures to guarantee protection, assistance and access to justice for victims. Education and youth: the EU is urged to devote more attention to the promotion of quality education among young people in the Central Asian countries, given the positive effects in terms of social inclusion, social cohesion and stability, and building sustainable democratic societies, and as the best form of prevention against violent extremism and radicalisation among youth in the region . Members considered that the EU's positive role in the region should be advanced via education and people-to-people contacts. In this regard, they recalled the importance of the EU’s international exchange programmes, such as Erasmus +, Erasmus Mundus and Erasmus Tempus. Economic integration, trade and sustainable development: Members underlined the growing importance of trade relations between the EU and Central Asia, with the EU now the first trading partner in the region . Concerned at the lack of socio-economic development, which is stalled and uneven, the lack of state transparency and the consequent corruption, poor governance, weak institutional framework, lack of respect for the rule of law and low participation of civil society, Members stressed the need for the EU to further step up trade and investment relations with the Central Asian countries and for these countries to tackle corruption and promote a stable environment in order to attract foreign investment. As regards development aid , Members were of the opinion that development aid should be disbursed only in countries with a genuine commitment to the alleviation of poverty, equal and sustainable socioeconomic progress and respect for human rights, and that those countries must demonstrate that they have effective anti-corruption policies and allow the EU to monitor implementation of the corresponding efforts. Parliament encouraged the mainstreaming of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the EU's development agenda in the region and reiterated that including the SDGs will result in more comprehensive sustainable development in the Central Asia region. Energy, environment, water, and transport: underlining the need for energy supply and diversification to be a key element of the EU-Central Asia strategy, Parliament stressed the need for more intensive dialogue on infrastructure development, including energy and transport networks as well as high-capacity internet connections. It regarded the region as an additional potential source of energy security for the EU , with particular reference to the potential for increased cooperation with Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. It called for renewed efforts to cope with and tackle the dramatic consequences of the environmental disaster of the drying-up of the Aral Sea. Regional cooperation, security challenges and border management: Parliament supported the EU’s long-term goal of transforming the nascent EU-Central Asia High- Level Security Dialogue into a genuine forum for cooperation in addressing common security challenges in the region and beyond its borders. It highlighted the need to closer interlink the EU’s approach to Central Asia with Afghanistan and adapt existing policies to the post-2014 strategy for Afghanistan. Stressing the importance of cooperation between the EU and the countries of Central Asia in preventing and combating terrorism, Members were deeply concerned about the activities of the extremist organisation Islamic State (IS) in recruiting growing numbers of Central Asian citizens to travel to the Middle East to fight or otherwise support IS, Al-Nusra and other terrorist and extremist organisations, prompted in part by political marginalisation and bleak economic prospects. They recognised that should a significant portion of radicalised Central Asian citizens return to their home countries, they risk challenging security and stability throughout Central Asia, Afghanistan, Iran, Russia, China and India. Parliament called on the Council, the Commission and the EEAS to prioritise in their relations with the Central Asian states the reform of the security sector , including better funding and training, promoting religious freedom in the framework of the secular constitutions, preventive aspects of countering terrorism and efforts at rehabilitating former jihadists, as components of an overall strategy for dealing with the challenge of Islamist extremism. Lastly, Parliament called on all international parties with influence in the region to encourage Central Asian states to make a concerted effort to better coordinate cooperation between their security services , including with respect to intelligence-sharing.
  • date: 2016-04-13T00:00:00 type: End of procedure in Parliament body: EP
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    • The Committee on Foreign Affairs adopted the own-initiative report by Tamás MESZERICS (Greens/EFA, HU) on the implementation and review of the EU-Central Asia Strategy.

      General provisions on EU commitments: Members stressed the strong strategic, political and economic interest of the EU in strengthening its bilateral and multilateral relations with all the Central Asian countries, on the basis of common shared values as stated in the existing Partnership and Cooperation Agreements between the EU and Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and in the agreement - albeit not yet in force - with Turkmenistan.

      They pointed out, however, that the strategic approach adopted to date to shaping relations with Central Asian countries has demonstrated only limited viability and success. They called on the EU and the five Central Asian countries to make serious efforts to achieve the aims and goals of this strategy.

      On the other hand, Members welcomed the review of the EU-Central Asia Strategy conducted by the EEAS, the Commission and the Council in 2015. Nevertheless, they took the view that the priorities, objectives and targets should be aligned more specifically to the interests, requirements and framework conditions of the Central Asian partner states, taking account of the differences between the countries of the region and of the uniqueness of each. It should be more precisely defined through individual, tailor-made country action plans, and accompanied by benchmarks and indicators with a reasonable timeframe for completion.

      In this regard, the EU is called upon to:

      • cooperate more intensively on an ad hoc basis with those Central Asian countries that wish to go beyond the EU Strategy for Central Asia;
      • ensure that the disbursement of EU funds should be clearly incentive- and performance-based;
      • increase its political visibility in the Central Asia region;
      • adopt a concrete action plan with measureable benchmarks enabling proper evaluation of progress made in the future.
      • cooperate with the aid and development projects of the US in the fields of human security, environment, education and climate policy.

      Members welcomed the re-establishment of the post of EU Special Representative (EUSR) for Central Asia after a year-long gap, and expected that the newly appointed EUSR will make an important contribution to the implementation of the strategy.

      Democratisation, human rights and the rule of law: Members stressed that respect for human rights and democracy must be at the core of the EU strategy. They regretted that overall respect for democratic standards, human rights and fundamental freedoms has not yet reached an acceptable level. The report recommended the EU to tailor its human rights policy and external financing instruments better, keeping a consistent long-term democratic reform as the guiding light.

      Strongly condemning the continued persecution of human rights defenders, opposition political figures and journalists in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, Members called on the EEAS to use all means at its disposal to act swiftly in their defence.

      The report noted that the EU must make it a priority to promote freedom of religion and belief and the rights of women, minors and minorities. More specifically, as regards women, the Central Asian countries are called upon to treat violence against women as a criminal offence, to properly investigate all reported cases and to implement measures to guarantee protection, assistance and access to justice for victims.

      Education and youth: the EU is urged to devote more attention to the promotion of quality education among young people in the Central Asian countries, given the positive effects in terms of social inclusion, social cohesion and stability, and building sustainable democratic societies, and as the best form of prevention against violent extremism and radicalisation among youth in the region.

      They consider that the EU's positive role in the region should be advanced via education and people-to-people contacts. In this regard, they recalled the importance of the EU’s international exchange programmes, such as Erasmus +, Erasmus Mundus and Erasmus Tempus.

      Economic integration, trade and sustainable development: concerned at the lack of socio-economic development, which is stalled and uneven, the lack of state transparency and the consequent corruption, poor governance, weak institutional framework, lack of respect for the rule of law and low participation of civil society, Members stressed the need for the EU to further step up trade and investment relations with the Central Asian countries and for these countries to tackle corruption and promote a stable environment in order to attract foreign investment.

      As regards development aid, Members are of the opinion that development aid should be disbursed only in countries with a genuine commitment to the alleviation of poverty, equal and sustainable socioeconomic progress and respect for human rights, and that those countries must demonstrate that they have effective anti-corruption policies and allow the EU to monitor implementation of the corresponding efforts.

      Members encouraged the mainstreaming of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the EU's development agenda in the region and reiterated that including the SDGs will result in more comprehensive sustainable development in the Central Asia region.

      Energy, environment, water, and transport: the report stressed the need for more intensive dialogue on infrastructure development, including energy and transport networks as well as high-capacity internet connections. It regards the region as an additional potential source of energy security for the EU, with particular reference to the potential for increased cooperation with Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

      Regional cooperation, security challenges and border management: highlighting the importance of cooperation between the EU and the countries of Central Asia in preventing and combating terrorism, Members are deeply concerned about the activities of the extremist organisation Islamic State (IS) in recruiting growing numbers of Central Asian citizens to travel to the Middle East to fight or otherwise support IS, Al-Nusra and other terrorist and extremist organisations, prompted in part by political marginalisation and bleak economic prospects. They recognise that should a significant portion of radicalised Central Asian citizens return to their home countries, they risk challenging security and stability throughout Central Asia, Afghanistan, Iran, Russia, China and India.

      Members called on the Council, the Commission and the EEAS to prioritise in their relations with the Central Asian states the reform of the security sector, including better funding and training, promoting religious freedom in the framework of the secular constitutions, preventive aspects of countering terrorism and efforts at rehabilitating former jihadists, as components of an overall strategy for dealing with the challenge of Islamist extremism.

      Lastly, the report called on all international parties with influence in the region to encourage Central Asian states to make a concerted effort to better coordinate cooperation between their security services, including with respect to intelligence-sharing.

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