The European Union and Kazakhstan have been partners since the country's independence, sharing a dialogue which has continually expanded. In the early years of cooperation this dialogue initially focused on trade and investment, but since 2002 many important issues have been included, such as Energy, Transport, as well as Justice, Home Affairs and political dialogue in issues of common concern.
The main document, underpinning the EU partnership with Kazakhstan, is the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), which was signed in 1995 and came into force in 1999.
At the regional level, Kazakhstan is a priority country within the European Union and Central Asia: Strategy for a New Partnership. In June 2012, the European Council and the European Commission published their Joint Progress Report on the implementation of the EU Central Asia Strategy.
The launch of the negotiations for a new enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA) between the EU and Kazakhstan took place on 27 June 2011 in Brussels.
Since 2011, 8 rounds of negotiations on EPCA between the European Union and Kazakhstan have been held. On 9 October 2014 the signing ceremony of the Protocol on completion of negotiations on EPCA between the EU and Kazakhstan took place in Brussels in presence of the European Commission President J.M. Barroso and the President of Kazakhstan N.A. Nazarbayev.
On 20 January 2015 the EU-Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement was initialed in Brussels.
On 21 December 2015 the EPCA was signed in Nur-Sultan.
The EPCA is an important milestone to further advance relations and strengthen the EU and its Member States’ cooperation with Kazakhstan.