Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and security Policy:
The adoption of a new EU Strategy for Central Asia by all EU Member States is testimony to the increasing importance of the region and the enhanced partnership that we as the European Union want to have with it. The Strategy focusses on two main pillars: resilience and prosperity, which we have identified together with all stakeholders in your countries, including civil society, as being paramount to the region’s development and success. We are also determined to support all efforts by Central Asian countries to advance their regional cooperation.
I will soon travel again to the region – my fourth visit in four-and-a-half years as High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security and Vice-President of the European Commission – this time for the EU Central Asia Ministerial Meeting in Bishkek. There, I will have an opportunity to discuss with the five Foreign Ministers the implementation of this strategy. If we do this together, at a good pace, we will be able to bring real, tangible benefits to citizens in the region and in the EU: stronger and more diverse economies, a bigger role for civil society, more opportunities for students and academics to experience Europe, a better climate for foreign investment, and I could go on.
In Central Asia, I see a region of the world that demands more from the European Union, and we are happy to respond to that demand. We are a reliable partners, with no other agenda than cooperation. We have in mind sustainable development – in both rural and urban areas, social mobility, the reduction of inequalities, stronger trade links, and enhanced human rights and the rule of law. We partner with the countries of Central Asia, and the region as a whole, because our cooperation brings mutual benefits; the adoption of the EU’s new strategy is an important moment for our partnership.