The European Union and the Republic of Tajikistan held their fourth Cooperation Committee meeting on 10 June 2015. The meeting was chaired by Mr Gunnar Wiegand, Director for Russia, Eastern Partnership, Central Asia Regional Cooperation and OSCE countries, European External Action Service, as the head of the EU delegation. The delegation of Tajikistan was led by Mr Saidrahmon Nazriev, First Deputy Minister for Economic Development and Trade of the Republic of Tajikistan.
During the Cooperation Committee, the European Commission reaffirmed its commitment to provide new development funding of €251 million to Tajikistan for the period 2014-2020. The funds will focus on vital sectors for growth and social stability, such as rural development, health, and education. Such support is becoming more urgent, owing to adverse economic developments in Central Asia, such as the fall in foreign remittances from migrant workers in Russia.
The Cooperation Committee also reaffirmed the commitment of both parties to strengthen relations in a number of cooperation areas, and took stock of the progress made since the third Cooperation Committee meeting between the EU and the Republic of Tajikistan in Dushanbe in June 2014.
The Cooperation Committee reiterated the importance of a comprehensive implementation of the EU Strategy for Central Asia, both on a regional and national basis, and welcomed Tajikistan’s active engagement in the EU regional initiatives for Central Asia. Developments were discussed as relating to the three flagship initiatives of Rule of Law, Education, and Environment; and beyond this, issues of mutual importance such as political and administrative reforms, rule of law and human rights, religious freedoms, trade and economic relations, and border security.
The EU called upon the necessity for ensuring human rights, fundamental freedoms and democratic reform. The Cooperation Committee emphasised the importance for Tajikistan to further integrate into the world economy, improve the business and investment climate, to ensure adequate social spending to provide basic social services even in times of economic difficulties, and to put in place conditions for medium and long-term growth.
The EU appreciates Tajikistan's role in regional cooperation, notably in the areas of border management, customs, trade facilitation and counter narcotics.
The Cooperation Council called on the Central Asian partners to search for a sustainable settlement regarding to energy, water management and environment issues in the region, harnessing common water resources for economic development and adopting an integrated approach to resource management taking into account the interest of all the people of Central Asia.
For more information
EU-Tajikistan relations: http://eeas.europa.eu/tajikistan/index_en.htm