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It-Tlieta, 13 ta' Marzu 2018 - Strasburgu Edizzjoni riveduta

19. Aġenda ġdida għar-relazzjonijiet UE-Asja Ċentrali fil-qafas tat-13-il Laqgħa Ministerjali Annwali (dibattitu)
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  El presidente. – El punto siguiente en el orden del día es el debate a partir de la Declaración de la vicepresidenta de la Comisión y alta representante de la Unión para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad sobre la nueva agenda para las relaciones UE-Asia Central en el marco de la 13.ª reunión ministerial anual (2018/2526(RSP)).

 
  
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  Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Mr President, last summer, the Council of the European Union asked me and the Commission to propose a new EU strategy on Central Asia, to be adopted next year.

As you might know, a few months ago, during my second visit to the region, I visited three of the five Central Asian countries. I was in Samarkand, where we had a very positive EU-Central Asia ministerial meeting. We have that ministerial meeting every year, which proves to be extremely useful and I am glad for the European Parliament’s continuous contribution to our work and also for your efforts to put this issue on the agenda, where it should be.

Central Asia is often perceived as a remote part of the world but, in fact, Europe and the five Central Asian countries are now closer than ever. I believe this is more important now than before. Their neighbourhood is our neighbourhood.

The Silk Road is not only a literary memory of the past, but one of the most important global infrastructure projects. Central Asia is, even more than in the past, a crossroads between Europe and the Far East, between Russia and South East Asia. Events in Afghanistan or in the Middle East are as important for us as for our partners in Central Asia. Their security is clearly also our security.

We see clearly that, as the world is changing, this region is changing, too. Free elections and peaceful transitions of power are becoming a more regular feature. Central Asia has become more independent and stronger, a partner for the East and for the West, not the chessboard for some great game among empires. Today, Central Asian countries are seeking a closer partnership with the European Union.

This is the clear message I got from all the leaders and ministers I have met from the region, especially in the last year: they are eager to deepen and increase cooperation with the European Union in all the different sectors. I believe this is a political will and the political signal we should get. They see us, the European Union, as a reliable, predictable, cooperative power with no hidden geopolitical agenda. And they see us as an indispensable partner for sustainable development and for modernisation.

I would like to focus on three aspects of our relationship where we have already achieved a lot and where I see a lot of potential for greater progress.

First, we are partners for change. For instance, we have supported Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan on their way to joining the World Trade Organisation, and we want to do the same for Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

European companies are keen to invest in the region, to the benefit of both the European Union and Central Asia, and improving the business environment is an interest we share. Also, to this end, we have launched a new generation of enhanced partnership and cooperation agreements. We signed one with Kazakhstan, we are negotiating one with Kyrgyzstan, and we look forward to opening negotiations soon with Uzbekistan. These agreements are also an incentive for domestic reforms, in line with international values, norms and standards, so I hope that the European Parliament will soon give its consent to the ratification of our Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Turkmenistan.

When we talk about change, it is not just about business. I want to be very clear on this. It is, first and foremost, about expanding rights all around the region for the sake of the people of Central Asia.

With independent media and an open space for civil society, institutions in Central Asia will be more credible, states will be more resilient in times of crisis, and economists would be more solid and attractive. Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan are engaged in important reform processes. We want to accompany them on this path. This is what I discussed during my visit last December, if I am not mistaken, to both countries and we want to work for that example to be followed by others in the region.

Second, we are partners for regional cooperation. Central Asia remains one of the least integrated regions in the world. In Samarkand I saw great interest in our European experience on how to solve common problems through regional cooperation. Central Asia faces many challenges that no single country can address alone, from water scarcity to the fight against international trafficking, from trade to the issue of foreign terrorist fighters and the radicalisation of, especially, the younger generations.

When it comes to intercontinental trade routes, Central Asian countries want to be more than just transit countries. They hope that these big infrastructure projects will bring sustainable development to their countries and support trade within the region, not only through the region. These are demands we can only support.

It is also for this reason that I intend to present to the October Foreign Affairs Council a new strategy on connecting Europe to Asia. It will highlight the key principles which we believe should guide international work to promote connectivity. This new strategy will aim to give our partners, including Central Asian countries, more than one choice. It should help them avoid the debt trap and the trap of poor-quality projects.

Last, but not least, the third sector of cooperation. The European Union and Central Asia are partners for security. We have a shared interest in supporting, for instance, an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. Uzbekistan will co-host a regional conference on Afghanistan at the end of March, in a few weeks from now.

This is essential for our own security, and I will be there, personally, with the Afghan Government, with our Central Asian partners and with all our international interlocutors. International cooperation is the only way to tackle challenges that are cross-border by definition, such as radicalisation or the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters.

We cooperate on border management with Central Asian countries and we have recently decided to deploy an EU counter-terrorism expert to Central Asia, who will be based in Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan. We will also participate in the high-level regional conference on counter-terrorism which Tajikistan will be hosting in early May.

It is quite clear, also from the debates we have had previously, that we live in a world that is moving fast but not always in the right direction, which is quite dangerous and challenging. We are probably living in the most delicate moment since the end of the Cold War and there is very little space for positive news.

Still, when I travel to a region like Central Asia I see more opportunities to take than threats to tackle: opportunities for change, for democratic perspectives, for economic growth and for cooperation on the different sectors I have mentioned now. This will be the core of our work, and our new strategy that the Council asked for, and the European Parliament has an important role to play in this process.

So let us invest together in this partnership because security and development in Central Asia is also our own security and development.

 
  
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  Laima Liucija Andrikienė, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, Central Asia has the potential to be a major gateway between Europe and Asia with a growing market and significant potential for investment and trade, so the EU’s new Strategy for Central Asia should provide a more forward-looking and goal-oriented vision and supporting tools. It would also help to respond adequately and timely to current challenges such as the ongoing democratisation processes in the region, fighting terrorism and extremism, as well as environmental issues.

In general, over the past years the geo-political environment has changed significantly in the region. The US has lost prestige, and its presence and its interest is decreasing in the region. The European Union, in spite of losing a bit of attraction because of the financial and refugee crisis and Brexit, can stay as active as China and Russia in the region – of course, not in a similar scope yet, but the EU is still key to Central Asia and its future.

Two new regional initiatives, China’s OBOR and the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union, are taking the lead in investment and could potentially transform Central Asia’s political landscape, so the necessary instruments should be implemented in Central Asian countries in order to keep Russia’s and China’s political and economic influence under control.

The EU should focus on realistic initiatives that fit with the existing regional projects, and the EU needs to be more actively present in each country of Central Asia in order to address the emerging geopolitical challenges and expand cooperation with the countries of the region.

 
  
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  Liisa Jaakonsaari, S&D-ryhmän puolesta. – Arvoisa puhemies, maailmassa on liian vähän hyviä uutisia tällä hetkellä, ja pieni toivon pilkahdus sisältyy nyt tähän Keski-Aasiaan ja kehitykseen. Aivan niin kun korkea edustaja Mogherini sanoi, siellä halutaan tehdä yhteistyötä ja halutaan vakautta alueelle. Se on tänä päivänä erittäin tärkeää.

Tämä EU:n keskeinen strategia on senkin takia tärkeä, että siinä halutaan sitoa enemmän alueen valtiot tähän kokonaisuuteen. Kysyisinkin korkealta edustajalta, voitaisiinko ajatella, että myös Venäjä voitaisiin ottaa kaikkine ongelmineen, joita tällä hetkellä on, enemmän mukaan tähän prosessiin. Erityistä huomiota pitää todellakin kiinnittää puolueettomaan oikeuslaitokseen, hyvään hallintoon, ihmisoikeuksien toteuttamiseen ja Kansainvälisen työn järjestön ILO:n standardeihin. Tämä on tärkeä asia, ja tässä on paljon uutta.

 
  
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  Ryszard Czarnecki, w imieniu grupy ECR. – Państwo Przewodniczący! Azja postsowiecka to bardzo ważny region, region zróżnicowany, choć może za mało o tym mówimy. Jest tam pięć dawnych republik radzieckich i jest też Mongolia, która formalnie nie była częścią Związku Radzieckiego. Jest to kraj, o który toczy się – nie ma co ukrywać – geopolityczna wojna. Rosną tam wpływy Turcji. Kiedyś goszczący w Brukseli przedstawiciel parlamentu jednego z tych krajów powiedział mi: no cóż, jeden naród turecki i dwa państwa: tureckie i właśnie jego. Rosną wpływy Iranu. Istotne są nasze europejskie wpływy. Są też wpływy amerykańskie. Pytanie tylko, czy nie są może trochę mniejsze, niż były. I są też wpływy rosyjskie, chociaż myślę, że są one coraz mniejsze niż kiedyś. Jest to region ważny w wymiarze ekonomicznym. Jest to region również istotny w naszych relacjach w kontekście Chin.

 
  
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  Jozo Radoš, u ime kluba ALDE. – Gospodine predsjedniče, gospođo visoka predstavnice, karakteristika položaja srednje Azije danas je negativno nasljeđe sovjetskog vremena, nerazvijene demokratske institucije, nekonkurentno gospodarstvo, ekološki problemi, ukliještenost između dvije velike sile, Kine i Rusije, čiji geostrateški interesi ne moraju biti u skladu s napretkom i prosperitetom srednje Azije, gospodarska i energetska ovisnost o Rusiji i izloženost nestabilnosti i terorizmu s juga.

Podržavam izjave Komisije i zaključke Vijeća o srednjoj Aziji, a posebno one koji se tiču poticanja korištenja obnovljivih izvora, povećanje energetske učinkovitosti, snaženje borbe protiv terorizma, efikasna zaštita granica, puno korištenje obrazovne inicijative, i mislim da posebno treba naglasiti potrebnu pomoć Europske unije u mirnom rješavanju otvorenih pitanja i sporova koji postoje među pet zemalja srednje Azije.

Želio bih ipak pohvaliti prevladavajući pozitivan ton koji je visoka predstavnica, ukazujući na sve probleme, ipak iskazala kada je govorila o perspektivama i potencijalima srednje Azije. Ali, puno se toga promijenilo 2007. godine, kada je donesena strategija odnosa Europske unije i srednje Azije. Kina je danas puno ambicioznija i snažnija, Rusija ima agresivniju politiku, a ugroze terorizma su daleko veći nego što su biti te 2007. godine.

Stoga podržavam zahtjev Vijeća i stav Parlamenta da se što je moguće prije donese nova strategija odnosa srednje Azije i Europske unije.

 
  
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  Helmut Scholz, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, Frau Hohe Vertreterin! Das Gemeinsame Kommuniqué von Samarkand zeigt, dass die erfolgreiche Erarbeitung der neuen Zentralasienstrategie mindestens zwei Brüche gegenüber der bisherigen Politik der EU erfordert: Soll die neue Strategie – wie gewünscht – gemeinsam mit den zentralasiatischen Partnerländern entstehen, kann das nur durch einen Interessenausgleich erfolgen, der die konkreten Herausforderungen und Rahmenbedingungen beider Seiten abbildet. Der bisherige Ansatz, der vor allen Dingen auf die Durchsetzung und Absicherung primär wirtschaftlicher Interessen zielt, ist kein Erfolgsmodell.

Soll sich die neue Strategie – wie im Ratsdokument benannt – wirklich an den SDGs ausrichten, dann muss sich zwangsläufig auch unsere Sicht auf den Entwicklungsstand der Länder ändern. Es wird dann weniger um die Frage nach dem Zustand von Infrastrukturen und die Frage der Verfügbarkeit von natürlichen Ressourcen gehen, sondern vielmehr darum, wie Beziehungen aussehen sollen, die einen relevanten Beitrag zur Lösung der bestehenden gravierenden sozialökonomischen Probleme und Umweltprobleme sowie zur Modernisierung und Demokratisierung der Gesellschaften und des Staatswesens leisten.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, au nom du groupe ENF. – Monsieur le Président, Madame la Haute représentante, chers collègues, avons-nous à nous occuper de l’Europe centrale et à faire payer aux États membres, ainsi qu’à leurs citoyens, le prix peut-être de nos échecs? Car nous risquons l’échec.

Nous n’avons aucune compétence pour nous occuper d’une zone complexe travaillée par l’islamisme et au carrefour du grand jeu entre la Russie, l’Amérique, l’Iran, l’Inde et la Chine. L’échec cuisant de l’Afghanistan en est le témoignage.

Nous n’avons, en outre, aucune légitimité pour interférer dans ces zones qui ne sont pas européennes de culture ou d’histoire et n’ont aucune raison de le devenir.

Nous risquons aussi l’échec si nous avons la même logique mortifère que celle du partenariat oriental dans le Caucase où l’Union européenne a tenté de déraciner des nations de leur environnement historique, ou en Ukraine.

Nous devons par contre apporter d’une manière équilibrée notre pierre au développement économique de la région, car sinon, si nous restons dans ces logiques précédentes, nous risquons un bilan à nouveau catastrophique de l’action extérieure.

 
  
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  Eduard Kukan (PPE). – Mr President, in the past few years the relations between the EU and five Central Asian partners have intensified. This is documented not only by the frequency of high-level meetings, but also by the amount of upgraded agreements that this House has passed.

I think it is an encouraging development, notably in regard to the new EU Central Asia Strategy anticipated next year. The EU should continue in this trend of active engagement with the region. It has a unique balancing position in Central Asia, and is perceived as a positive force. Our bilateral relations should focus on common security challenges, supporting the resilience of partners, enhancing our economic relations and backing regional cooperation. Particular attention should be dedicated to improving the rule of law and respect for fundamental freedoms in five countries. The EU should be clear of the areas where improvement is needed and should stand ready to assist.

 
  
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  Brando Benifei (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, l'Asia centrale è una regione in evoluzione, un partner strategico per l'Europa. È un'area in cui la nostra azione può fare la differenza, in cui abbiamo ottenuto diversi risultati, come la quasi eradicazione del lavoro minorile in Uzbekistan nel settore tessile, anche grazie al lavoro di questo Parlamento.

In vista della nuova strategia, oltre alle opportunità economiche e di commercio, appena consolidate dalla ratifica della partnership con il Kazakistan, dobbiamo proseguire la cooperazione per il consolidamento delle istituzioni, la lotta alla corruzione, ma soprattutto occorre una rinnovata attenzione agli aspetti sociali e ai diritti umani, su cui c'è ancora molto da fare, come mostrano i tanti casi di persecuzione politica. Penso ad esempio a Maks Bokaev e Iskander Erimbetov, riferendoci proprio al Kazakistan.

Un'Asia centrale stabile e resiliente è cruciale, viste anche le sfide in termini di sicurezza poste dalla frontiera afgana, o per esempio dagli scontri per il controllo dell'acqua. Da questo punto di vista il nuovo impulso nella cooperazione infraregionale è certamente da incoraggiare ed è interesse dell'Europa.

 
  
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  Francisco José Millán Mon (PPE). – Señor presidente, desde el colapso de la Unión Soviética, la región del Asia Central se ha ido consolidando como una especie de subcontinente emergente. Su situación geográfica, sus ingentes recursos naturales y económicos, así como los retos a los que se enfrenta, la convierten en un área de notable interés para la Unión Europea. Y yo celebro el interés —como usted nos ha dicho, señora Mogherini— que existe en la región por la Unión Europea, y que se esté trabajando para la renovación en 2019 de la Estrategia de la Unión Europea para Asia Central.

Debemos seguir acompañando a estos países en sus reformas hacia la modernización política y económica. Son países —iba a decir— en transición. Ya se ha recordado aquí alguno de sus retos: la mejora en términos de gobernanza democrática, la seguridad y el auge del yihadismo, los tráficos ilícitos, los recursos naturales —tanto energéticos como hídricos— y la gestión de estos. Podemos ayudar en todo ello y debemos seguir impulsando su integración regional y reforzando nuestra presencia y visibilidad allí.

La Unión Europea debe perseverar en su posicionamiento como un actor global, en particular, en aquellas regiones cercanas —los vecinos de nuestros vecinos—, dado que lo que allí acontece tiene repercusiones directas en nuestro día a día. Lo vemos en el caso del Sahel, de Oriente Medio, y lo vemos también en el caso de Asia Central.

 
  
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  Jo Leinen (S&D). – Herr Präsident, Frau Mogherini! Vielen Dank für Ihr Engagement in Zentralasien. Zu lange war das doch ein weißer Fleck auf der politischen Landkarte hier in Europa. Wir haben ja gehört, welche Einflusszonen es rund rum gibt, Russland, Türkei, Iran und insbesondere China. Da ist natürlich die Einflussnahme direkt und massiv. Sie sagen, die Regierungschefs begrüßen eine engere Partnerschaft mit uns. Aber was haben wir zu bieten?

Wir sind eine SoftPower, wir ermahnen sie zu Reformen, mehr Demokratie, mehr Menschenrechten, und China macht die großen Investitionen. Also gibt es neben der SoftPower noch etwas, was wir diesen Ländern noch anbieten können? Aus der östlichen Nachbarschaft müssen wir lernen, dass wir die Länder einzeln betrachten. Ich glaube, wir brauchen maßgeschneiderte Programme für die einzelnen Länder. Ich würde aber auch begrüßen, was sie sagten, dass wir die regionale Kooperation stärken. Das haben wir in Afrika mit Erfolg gemacht, das können wir auch in Zentralasien machen: den Ländern dort das Beispiel der EU anbieten, dann werden sie insgesamt stärker.

 
  
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  Ramona Nicole Mănescu (PPE). – Mr President, I first want to thank Ms Mogherini for her statement on Turkmenistan. As rapporteur for Turkmenistan, I can only express my concerns on the situation in this country: lack of respect for human rights, corruption and low democratic standards. Such topics are indeed sensitive and difficult to approach through direct talks, producing little or no result through the classic diplomatic tools. A constant new presence in Turkmenistan would be constructive and efficient, more than isolation, if we want to achieve our goals and not just talk about them.

Most of my colleagues share this position, and this is why the European Parliament has already requested a fully-fledged delegation in Ashgabat. If we all consider that a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Turkmenistan as a legal support will offer a strong platform for constructive relations, then I can only ask High Representative Ms Mogherini to give us full support to achieve this goal as soon as possible.

 
  
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  Andrejs Mamikins (S&D). – Mr President, the European Union strategy for Central Asia, which is currently under revision, must become a strong instrument for our foreign policy. The security challenges in this region are also our security challenges, and we need to work collectively against Islamic radicalisation. Among the five countries, only Kazakhstan has an enhanced partnership and cooperation agreement, which includes strong provisions on security. I hope that in the near future we will be able to develop similar agreements with the remaining four countries.

High Representative Ms Mogherini, I know that during your last visit to Samarkand you laid the basis for the creation of common counter-terrorism action, and we really appreciate your diplomatic efforts in this. Indeed, there is no place for geopolitical competition when we speak about security—building, because China, Russia and Afghanistan all have a role to play in it, and I am sure today that you have enough diplomatic leverage to promote regional security cooperation.

 
  
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  Adam Szejnfeld (PPE). – Panie Przewodniczący! Azja Centralna to swego rodzaju subregion, który wydawałoby się, że został pozostawiony sam sobie, a przynajmniej Rosji i Chinom. Niewiele tam się zmieniło od czasów Związku Radzieckiego, zwłaszcza w kwestiach ustrojowych. Panują dyktatury, rządy autorytarne, nie ma demokracji.

Natomiast są to państwa bogate w różne zasoby: nie tylko gaz i ropę, ale i rudy metali, także metali szlachetnych. Narody i społeczności tych państw zasługują na to, żeby dołączyć do rodziny demokratycznych narodów świata. By tak się stało, nie ulega żadnej wątpliwości, że trzeba zwiększyć współpracę Unii Europejskiej z tymi państwami. To jest jedyna droga ku demokracji. Również współpracę gospodarczą, gdyż będzie ona służyła społecznościom i narodom tych państw.

 
  
 

Intervenciones con arreglo al procedimiento de solicitud incidental de uso de la palabra («catch the eye»)

 
  
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  Jiří Pospíšil (PPE). – Pane předsedající, paní Mogheriniová, já jsem velmi pozorně poslouchal váš projev. Mně se líbí stejně jako některým kolegům, že se snažíte posílit spolupráci se zeměmi Střední Asie. Považuji to za velmi důležité, protože jak už tady bylo řečeno, dnes narůstá zájem velmocí o tento region a my bychom neměli tento region přenechávat Číně a Rusku a měli bychom se v tomto regionu ekonomicky mnohem více angažovat. To je první důvod.

Druhý důvod zde byl také zmiňován, to je otázka nebezpečí terorismu. Pokud bychom nechali Střední Asii být, tak se nám do budoucna může stát, že se v této oblasti bude rekrutovat mnohem více mladých džihádistů, že zde bude narůstat islámský radikalismus, a to už je konkrétní ohrožení pro Evropu. Neplatí tedy teze některých kolegů, kteří tvrdí, že nás tento region nemusí zajímat, že nemá dopad na Evropu. Z hlediska mezinárodní bezpečnosti je to zkrátka oblast, která potenciálně, pokud nás nebude zajímat, může být pro nás rizikem. Takže vítám Vaši vyšší aktivitu a prosím, pokračujte v ní dále.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η δέκατη τρίτη ετήσια σύνοδος υπουργικού επιπέδου της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης με τις χώρες της Κεντρικής Ασίας πραγματικά είναι μία ενδιαφέρουσα συνάντηση· οφείλει να αντιμετωπίσει σοβαρά ζητήματα –και, όταν μιλούμε για τις χώρες της Κεντρικής Ασίας, μιλούμε για πλούσιες χώρες με φυσικό αέριο, πετρέλαιο, ορυκτά, αλλά ταυτόχρονα με φτωχούς λαούς. Η ατζέντα βεβαίως πρέπει να αντιμετωπίσει και τον πολιτικό διάλογο με σεβασμό στην εθνική κυριαρχία των κρατών αυτών και την ειρηνική συνύπαρξη, την οικονομία, με στόχο βεβαίως το αμοιβαίο όφελος και το δίκαιο εμπόριο, αλλά ταυτόχρονα πρέπει να ληφθούν μέτρα για το χτύπημα της εγκληματικότητας και της διαφθοράς, να επιβληθούν όροι εφαρμογής της εργατικής νομοθεσίας, να απαγορευθεί η παιδική εργασία, να υπάρξει περιβαλλοντική προστασία και ταυτόχρονα μία ολοκληρωμένη στρατηγική για την αντιμετώπιση του τζιχαντισμού και του ισλαμικού εξτρεμισμού.

 
  
 

(Fin de las intervenciones con arreglo al procedimiento de solicitud incidental de uso de la palabra («catch the eye»))

 
  
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  Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Mr President, very briefly because I’ve seen that there’s large convergence among you, amongst us, on the need to continue to invest strategically in our relations with Central Asia – as a region to increase their regional cooperation, but also with each individual country of the five. I am determined to continue to do so. I have seen, as I said in the beginning, clearly a trend in these last three years in all our ministerial meetings, in all the bilateral meetings I’ve had with them – Presidents and Foreign Ministers – that the intention from their side is to do more with us in all fields.

I will only say that I count on your support to continue doing this. I commit to doing this more and more in all the different fields from the economic to human rights and rule of law, to security and to regional developments, including the security issue, the geo-political dynamics, the crossroads between east and west and north and south, and obviously also on sustainable development and own resources, including water.

There is one question I would like to answer: what can we offer? What I have seen, what they expect us to offer, is the European way, is the standards, is the quality. They know I believe that this comes in a package. It’s European standards on human rights and rule of law. It’s European standards on economic investments and business climate and rules of the game for the economic environment. It’s European standards and the European way on the way in which institutions work. It’s the European way in which society develops.

The feeling I have is that they would like to take the European Union as a model for their societies, for their economies, for their regional relations, for their security models. They know it’s a long way, but this is the direction I feel they intend to follow, without necessarily being trapped into the geo—political spheres of influence competition, but being able to move towards that kind of European way that we could offer. It is somehow a declination of the soft power we have, but it’s also very concrete. It’s true that from other places money could come more easily, but I think countries around the world, and in Central Asia included, are starting to realise that it is not necessarily the money that comes easily which is the best investment long term. I think this is the thing we can offer, which is sometimes complicated but always worthwhile trying.

 
  
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  El presidente. – Se cierra el debate.

Declaraciones por escrito (artículo 162 del Reglamento)

 
  
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  Ilhan Kyuchyuk (ALDE), in writing. – As you know EU-Central Asia relations are developed under the EU strategy for Central Asia signed in 2007 and reviewed in 2015. For nearly 11 years this EU strategy has played a vital role in reforming Central Asian states and making them important partners of the EU. Progress achieved in the countries under the partnership with the EU should be saved and build up. Therefore, I believe that the EU has to create and implement a new agenda which will develop stronger relations between EU and Central Asia states through strengthen dialogue and cooperation on important topics for both sides such as human rights, education, development, environment and security, particularly in the context of endless conflict in Afghanistan and growing threat of terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism in the region. In this context, it is important to note that region’s stability and prosperity can be achieved only through active participation of the EU and its readiness to cooperate with Central Asia states on common challenges and interests. The new EU strategy towards the region should be based on this assumption.

 
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