Connect with us

European Commission

17th EU-Central Asia ministerial meeting – Turning challenges into opportunities

SHARE:

Published

on

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you've consented to and to improve our understanding of you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

On 22 November, High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell (pictured) and International Partnerships Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen took part in the 17th EU-Central Asia Ministerial meeting, in Dushanbe (Tajikistan). The meeting was chaired by the High Representative Borrell and hosted by the Foreign Minister of Tajikistan, Sirojiddin Muhriddin, with the participation of the Foreign Ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and the Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan.

In a joint press statement participants confirmed their commitment to strengthen EU-Central Asia cooperation to support a green and sustainable post-COVID-19 recovery and to work together to tackle some of the challenges emerging from developments in Afghanistan.

High Representative Borrell said: “The countries of Central Asia have made remarkable achievements since their independence 30 years ago. The EU has high stakes in seeing Central Asia develop as a more resilient, prosperous and more closely interconnected economic and political space. The EU and Central Asia share a strong commitment to intensify cooperation to build back better following COVID-19. We also want to step up joint efforts to manage some of the common challenges stemming from the situation in Afghanistan. The EU can make a strong contribution to the future of the region if Central Asian states show determination in their commitment to reform and democracy.”

Commissioner Urpilainen added: “The partnership between the EU and Central Asia builds a joint path to a green, resilient, inclusive and sustainable post-COVID-19 recovery. We want to strengthen cooperation on climate, connectivity, trade and investment, energy, and security. And we will engage with civil society and the youth, to develop a closer partnership.”  

Advertisement

The ministerial meeting took place just a few days after High Representative Borrell chaired the Foreign Affairs Council in the Development formation, with the participation of Commissioner Urpilainen, where they discussed challenges related to water and sustainable development in Central Asia.

During the ministerial meeting, the EU informed of its priorities for regional cooperation, in line with the 2019 EU Strategy on Central Asia: promoting resilience, prosperity and regional co-operation.

The meeting also provided the opportunity to exchange on the implementation of a number of EU-funded programmes, including the Border Management Programme in Central Asia (BOMCA) and the counter-terrorism project Law Enforcement in Central Asia (LEICA), as well as to propose new initiatives, including a new inter-regional dialogue on international labour standards. The EU and Central Asia look forward to organising in the course of 2022 a High-level Conference on Connectivity.

Advertisement

During their visit to Dushanbe, High Representative Borrell and Commissioner Urpilainen will also hold consultations with representatives of the Tajik government and civil society to promote closer cooperation and efforts to manage Afghanistan-related challenges, including the humanitarian situation, stability, security, radicalisation, terrorism, and illicit drugs trafficking. Following COP26 and in light of the vast hydro-power capacity of Tajikistan, the EU will also discuss ways to advance cooperation with the country and broader region on water, energy and climate.

Background

In 2019, the EU adopted a new Strategy on Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan), which highlights the growing strategic relevance of the region for the EU. The EU has significant stakes in Central Asia, given the strategic geographical location and pivotal role of the region in Europe-Asia connectivity, its vast energy resources (Kazakhstan is the EU's fourth supplier of crude oil), significant market potential (70 million inhabitants, 35% of whom are under the age of 15), and our interest in regional security and migration, in particular in the light of developments in Afghanistan.

More information

Factsheet on EU-Kazakhstan relations

Factsheet on EU-Tajikistan relations

Factsheet on EU-Uzbekistan relations

Factsheet on EU-Kyrgyz Republic relations

Factsheet on EU-Turkmenistan relations

Share this article:

Continue Reading
Advertisement

China

Competition: EU and China meet during 22nd Competition Week to discuss competition policy priorities

Published

on

Officials and experts from the EU and China will meet online from 29 November to 2 December 2021 to discuss about their co-operation on competition law and enforcement. The discussions will focus on the green transition and how China's Fair Competition Review System and the EU's State Aid framework can contribute to it. Participants will also discuss mechanisms to control potentially anti-competitive acquisitions in the digital sector and the practical challenges of investigating digital markets. In addition, there will be updates on the proposed revisions to China's Anti-Monopoly Law and recent regulatory and competition policy developments in the EU.

The 22nd EU-China Competition Week follows the longstanding tradition of biannual competition dialogue between the EU and the anti-monopoly enforcement agencies in China. It is part of the Competition Co-operation project, a five-year EU funded programme offering technical co-operation to competition authorities in Asia. It also provides a platform for exchanges on competition policy between the European Commission Directorate-General for Competition (DG Competition) and the Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR). The objective is to exchange experiences and strengthen convergence in competition policy, to the benefit of citizens and businesses in both the EU and in Asia. More information about the European Commission's bilateral dialogue with China in the field of competition policy is available on the Commission's website.

Share this article:

Continue Reading

coronavirus

Commission hosts second matchmaking event to speed up the development and production of COVID-19 medicines

Published

on

Today (30 November), the Commission is hosting a pan-European matchmaking event to accelerate and upscale the development and production of COVID-19 medicines in Europe, as part of the actions under the EU Strategy on COVID-19 Therapeutics. Following a first matchmaking event on COVID-19 medicines in July 2021 and a previous matchmaking event on COVID-19 vaccines in March 2021, this event aims at strengthening the participation of EU companies in value chains for COVID-19 therapeutics and speeding up connections among the participants. It also broadens the focus: from therapeutics specifically used to treat COVID-19, to also including those used to treat the symptoms of COVID-19, as well the production of disposable materials, such as syringes, and ingredients needed for making such medicines.

The event gathers companies from the European Economic Area as well as other businesses and organisations included in the portfolio of 10 most promising treatments, presented by the Commission in the follow-up to the COVID-19 Therapeutics strategy. In order to facilitate matchmaking events, the Commission issued a comfort letter in March 2021 (based on the Antitrust Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on 8 April 2020) providing guidance, relevant also for this event, on how the matchmaking and exchanges between participating companies, including direct competitors, can take place in compliance with EU competition rules. The matchmaking event is organised by the Commission's Task Force for industrial scale-up of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, in close co-operation with the European Cluster Collaboration Platform. The event is also hosted in partnership with the Council of European BioRegions (CEBR) and the European Cluster Alliance (ECA), which are supporting the Commission in running an EU survey to assess EU capacities for COVID-19 therapeutics production. More information about the event is available here.

Share this article:

Continue Reading

European Commission

President von der Leyen addresses the special session of the World Health Assembly of the WHO

Published

on

On 29 November, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (pictured) addressedthe World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO), which gathers between 29 November and 1 December for its second-ever special session. The President welcomed the Assembly's decision to start negotiations towards an international instrument to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. Following the emergence of the Omicron variant, President von der Leyen commended the leadership of South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa, underlining that South Africa's analytical work and transparency have allowed a swift global response to save lives. She praised South Africa as an example of international cooperation in times of cross-border health threats.

Building on the Global Health Summit of May and on the G20 Summit last month, President von der Leyen reaffirmed the EU's commitment to uphold equity, good governance, multilateral cooperation and solidarity as the only ways out of the current health crisis. The European Union and its Member States will continue working to help achieve the global vaccination target of 70% in 2022 and will support capacity building for sequencing, testing, treatments and vaccination. In this sense, the President confirmed that the EU aims at sharing at least 700 million vaccine doses by mid-2022 with low and middle-income countries. That is on top of the €3 billion in financing that the EU provided to help create the ACT-Accelerator for global vaccination through COVAX and the ongoing efforts to develop vaccine manufacturing in Africa and in South America. The full speech is available here and can be re-watched here.

Share this article:

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending