Third Meeting of the Cooperation Commitee between the European Union and the Republic of Tajikistan (18/06/2014)

Dushanbe, 18 June 2014 – The Co-operation Committee between the European Union (EU) and the Republic of Tajikistan held its third meeting on Wednesday, 18 June 2014. The EU was represented by Dr Riina Kionka, Head of Central Asia Division, European External Action Service, as well as Jean Claude Boidin, Head of Unit - Geographical Coordination Central Asia, Middle East/Gulf, Asia Regional Programmes, General Directorate for Development and Cooperation of the European Commission. The Tajik delegation was led by Mr Saidrahmon Nazriev, Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade.

The Cooperation Committee reaffirmed the commitment of both parties to see the EU-Tajikistan relations strengthen across a number of areas, and provided a good opportunity to review recent economic and social reforms in Tajikistan. Both sides discussed with the continuation of EU programmes in Central Asia in the new 2014-2020 EU budget period.

It is foreseen that the region will receive up to EUR 1 billion of assistance from the European Union. Out of this amount an indicative 250 MLN EUR earmarked for Tajikistan for the mentioned budget period for the following priority sectors: health, education and rural development.

The Co-operation Committee held an in-depth discussion on the issues of macroeconomic developments, including public and private investments, as well as sectoral developments and trade issues. Discussions also covered water, hydropower and energy issues. Acknowledging Tajikistan's energy needs, the EU side reiterated the necessity of energy sector reform, including energy efficiency measures.

The EU recalled the importance of continuing progress in democracy, rule of law and human rights, in view of the widening and deepening of bilateral relations between the EU and Tajikistan and encouraged Tajikistan to step up reforms in these fields. The EU welcomed the sixth round of the EU-Tajikistan Human Rights Dialogue, held on 17 June 2014 in Dushanbe, underlining that human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression and of religion as well as freedom from torture and other ill-treatment, are essential elements in the bilateral relationship with Tajikistan.

For further information you may contact Ms. Mahbuba Abdullaeva in the Delegation of the European Union in Tajikistan at tel: +992 (37) 2217407 or e-mail: Mahbuba.Abdullaeva@eeas.europa.eu