European Union External Action

Turkmenistan and the EU

The relations between the EU and Central Asia have developed further since the European Council adopted The EU and Central Asia: Strategy for a New Partnership in June 2007. This strategy has strengthened ties in all areas through political dialogue, dialogues on human rights and cooperation programmes.

The EU last assessed the advances made in its 2015 Council Conclusions, which confirmed the continuing relevance of both its strategy and the priority areas for cooperation. It also acknowledged that the region faces new and growing challenges and that security issues have come to the fore in relations with the EU.

Bilateral relations between Turkmenistan and the European Union are governed by an Interim Trade Agreement (1998), pending ratification of a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) by the EU countries and the European Parliament.

The EU and Turkmenistan have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of energy  (2008), to support the information exchange on energy policies, the diversification of transit routes and the promotion of renewables and energy efficiency.

Human rights are an important aspect of our bilateral relations with Turkmenistan. The EU has already held seven meetings of the annual Human Rights Dialogue with Turkmen authorities since 2008, allowing for constructive discussions on sensitive issues related to human rights and democratisation.

Funding for development in the country is provided by the EU's Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI). In this context, bilateral cooperation projects focus on economic reforms and privatisation, education and capacity building, good governance and the rule of law, and sustainable energy. EU assistance for 2011-2013 was approximately EUR 39 million, the main focus being on education and legal reforms, the promotion of human rights, and economic and social sector reforms for sustainable development. 2014-2020 EU bilateral assistance will focus on education and vocational training (EUR 37 million for the period 2014-17). The EU and Turkmenistan also cooperate in the framework of the regional approach which includes all five Central Asian republics. Regional cooperation projects focus on education, rule of law, water and environment, border management and the fight against drug-trafficking.

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