Delegation of the European Union to the Kyrgyz Republic

Kyrgyz Republic and the EU

12/05/2016 - 11:50
EU relations with Country

The EU and the Kyrgyz Republic have been partners since the country gained its independence in 1991. Over the years, relations between both sides have flourished.

The political foundations for the EU’s partnership with the Kyrgyz Republic were established in the 1999 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA).  The agreement aimed at strengthening the links between the Kyrgyz Republic and the EU.

Taking into account development of bilateral relations and emerging of new areas of interaction, the EU and the Kyrgyz Republic negotiated the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA), which was initialed in July 2019. It is expected to be signed in 2020.

The Kyrgyz Republic is also a partner in the European Union and Central Asia: New opportunities for a strong partnership strategy adopted in May 2019.

Economic activity between the EU and the Kyrgyz Republic is on the rise. Annual trade is estimated at approximately EUR 400-500 million.

The recently adopted EPCA and new EU Central Asia Strategy see trade and economic relations as an important area of cooperation which still has a significant potential for development and strengthening. The EU also provides funds to various projects in the regions and nationally.

The Kyrgyz Republic benefits from the EU's Generalised Scheme of Preferences plus (GSP+), the special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance (GSP+) providing additional tariff preferences to developing countries which are vulnerable due to a lack of diversification and insufficient integration within the international trading system, when exporting to the European Union (EU).

The GSP+ status allows the Kyrgyz Republic to strengthen its economy by exporting 6200 products to the European Union without any tariffs/with no tax duties regime. To benefit from GSP+, a product must either be wholly obtained in the Kyrgyz Republic, or must have undergone sufficient manufacturing, working or processing in the Kyrgyz Republic.

As a GSP+ beneficiary, Kyrgyzstan is under a legal obligation to maintain the ratification of the 27 conventions and to ensure their effective implementation. Kyrgyzstan’s performance in this regard is subject to an enhanced monitoring mechanism by the EU side. The monitoring mechanism makes use of several tools. The first is the "scorecard", a table summarising the salient shortcomings of the country in the implementation of the conventions. Secondly, the Commission establishes a "dialogue on GSP+ compliancewith Kyrgyzstan, drawing its attention to the areas identified in the scorecard. The results thereof will be included in the report on the compliance of GSP+ beneficiaries with the relevant criteria that the Commission has to transmit to the European Parliament and the European Council every two years.

Additional information regarding the Generalised Scheme of Preferences may be found here.

For additional information on the certification criteria, phytosanitary and rules of origins requirements which products have to fulfil for export to the EU, please visit the website of the HelpDesk of the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission: http://exporthelp.europa.eu/thdapp/index.htm

For information on how to export goods to a particular Member State of the European Union, please consider contacting its Embassy accredited to the Kyrgyz Republic. The full list of the Embassies of the EU Member States may be found here.

Citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic may also contact the call center of the Ministry of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic by a short phone number: 1220.

Useful documents:

  • Guide for users about the EU rules of origin for the GSP and GSP+. File may be downloaded in EnglishRussian and Kyrgyz languages.
  • Factsheet about the GSP+ in English language.
  • List of Kyrgyz goods under GSP+ in Russian and Kyrgyz languages.
  • Brochure on GSP+ in Kyrgyz and Russian languages.

 

The bilateral Development Cooperation is based on the Multiannual Indicative Programme (MEP) for 2014-2020 with the total budget of EUR 174 million. It is focused on three main sectors:

  •     Education (EUR 71.8 million)
  •     Rule of Law (EUR 37.8 million)
  •     Integrated Rural Development (EUR 61.8 million)

The new MIP for 2021-2027 will be developed by the European Union in close cooperation with the Kyrgyz Republic to address needs and provide necessary support to the country.

In addition to the bilateral programmes, the Kyrgyz Republic benefits from the regional programmes. For instance, the EU has provided around EUR 90 million grants to support investments, mainly in the water sector, through the EU Investment Facility for Central Asia (IFCA).

Civil society actors have been active in promoting human rights and freedom of speech. The EU is committed to strengthening the role of civil society by encouraging non state actors to become involved in the process.

An important instrument that the EU uses to promote civil society and human rights is the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR). The main objectives of the EIDHR are to:

  • help set up democratic institutions;
  • strengthen judicial and non-judicial human rights protection mechanisms;
  • provide training in human rights monitoring;
  • promote media independence;
  • support the abolition of the death penalty;
  • enhance women’s rights and the rights of vulnerable groups.

The EU recognizes that human rights, rule of law, good governance and democratisation underpin the long-term political stability and economic development of Central Asia.

The recently adopted EU-Central Asia Strategy also includes plans for human rights dialogue with all five Central Asian countries. This dialogue is vital for:

  • discussing questions of mutual interest and enhancing cooperation;
  • raising the concerns of the EU on human rights;
  • gathering information and launching initiatives to improve the human rights situation where required.

The EU has been holding annual bilateral dialogue on human rights with the Kyrgyz Republic since 2008. The EU also organises various civil society seminars, attracting people from the community of human rights experts.

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