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Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, December 2017

15-12-2017

The December session highlights were the pre-European Council debate, including on the state of play of 'Brexit' negotiations, as well as the debate on foreign, security and defence policy, with a statement from Federica Mogherini on PESCO. Members also debated US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and the PANA Committee of Inquiry report. Parliament adopted, inter alia, the 'Omnibus' regulation for agriculture, extension of EFSI, and a regulation on aviation emissions.

The December session highlights were the pre-European Council debate, including on the state of play of 'Brexit' negotiations, as well as the debate on foreign, security and defence policy, with a statement from Federica Mogherini on PESCO. Members also debated US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and the PANA Committee of Inquiry report. Parliament adopted, inter alia, the 'Omnibus' regulation for agriculture, extension of EFSI, and a regulation on aviation emissions.

EU–Kazakhstan Partnership Agreement

05-12-2017

In December 2017, the European Parliament is due to vote on whether to give consent to an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Kazakhstan, which would replace a 1995 agreement.

In December 2017, the European Parliament is due to vote on whether to give consent to an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Kazakhstan, which would replace a 1995 agreement.

Kazakhstan's long-held stability threatened

08-02-2016

Russia's annexation of Crimea and the conflict in eastern Ukraine are worrying Kazakhstan, given its large Russian minority in the regions bordering Russia. Kazakhstan's proximity to Afghanistan exposes the country to threats such as religious extremism, drug trafficking and terrorism, particularly after NATO's withdrawal from Afghanistan. Russia is increasing its influence in regional security matters and pushing Kazakhstan for greater cooperation in the fight against shared threats.

Russia's annexation of Crimea and the conflict in eastern Ukraine are worrying Kazakhstan, given its large Russian minority in the regions bordering Russia. Kazakhstan's proximity to Afghanistan exposes the country to threats such as religious extremism, drug trafficking and terrorism, particularly after NATO's withdrawal from Afghanistan. Russia is increasing its influence in regional security matters and pushing Kazakhstan for greater cooperation in the fight against shared threats.

Kazakhstan: Social situation

08-09-2015

Kazakhstan’s rapid economic growth, coupled with government reforms in areas such as education and health, has paved the way for notable improvements in the social situation, advancing the country to the 'high human development' level. Kazakhs now enjoy a healthier and longer life with less poverty and inequality. However, the Aral Sea environmental disaster causes extreme concern.

Kazakhstan’s rapid economic growth, coupled with government reforms in areas such as education and health, has paved the way for notable improvements in the social situation, advancing the country to the 'high human development' level. Kazakhs now enjoy a healthier and longer life with less poverty and inequality. However, the Aral Sea environmental disaster causes extreme concern.

Kazakhstan: Economic situation

08-09-2015

Kazakhstan, Central Asia's largest economy, is an upper-middle-income country aiming to join the world's 30 most developed countries by 2050. Russia's economic slowdown, a weakened domestic demand after the devaluation of the national currency, the tenge, and adverse developments in the terms of trade, have pushed economic growth down to 4.3% in 2014 from 6% in 2013, and will continue to do so in 2015. On a more optimistic note, Kazakhstan's newly acquired WTO membership will further strengthen its ...

Kazakhstan, Central Asia's largest economy, is an upper-middle-income country aiming to join the world's 30 most developed countries by 2050. Russia's economic slowdown, a weakened domestic demand after the devaluation of the national currency, the tenge, and adverse developments in the terms of trade, have pushed economic growth down to 4.3% in 2014 from 6% in 2013, and will continue to do so in 2015. On a more optimistic note, Kazakhstan's newly acquired WTO membership will further strengthen its integration in global trade and economy.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

26-06-2015

With China, Russia, and four Central Asian states – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – as its founding members, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is one of the world's biggest regional organisations in terms of population represented. To date, the SCO has largely concentrated on regional non-traditional security governance and specifically its fight against regional terrorism, ethnic separatism and religious extremism. But the SCO Charter sets out a broad range of other ...

With China, Russia, and four Central Asian states – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – as its founding members, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is one of the world's biggest regional organisations in terms of population represented. To date, the SCO has largely concentrated on regional non-traditional security governance and specifically its fight against regional terrorism, ethnic separatism and religious extremism. But the SCO Charter sets out a broad range of other objectives and areas of cooperation, which go far beyond security concerns and thus bear great potential for further regional integration. The SCO's main achievement thus far is to have offered its members a cooperative forum to balance their conflicting interests and to ease bilateral tensions. It has built up joint capabilities and has agreed on common approaches in the fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism. However, major shortcomings, such as institutional weaknesses, a lack of common financial funds for the implementation of joint projects and conflicting national interests have prevented the SCO from achieving a higher level of regional cooperation in other areas. A first expansion in SCO membership – expected for July 2015 – driven by new security threats, geostrategic considerations, energy security and the economic interests of current SCO members, is likely both to raise the SCO's regional and international profile and present new challenges.

Kazakhstan: political situation

17-04-2015

The Republic of Kazakhstan has a presidential form of government characterised by a monopoly of the executive branch and limited parliamentary power. Since independence in 1991, progress in Kazakhstan in terms of democratisation, human rights and the rule of law have not matched its economic development. As Kazakhstan approaches another snap presidential election on 26 April 2015, uncertainty about the political situation in the country continues.

The Republic of Kazakhstan has a presidential form of government characterised by a monopoly of the executive branch and limited parliamentary power. Since independence in 1991, progress in Kazakhstan in terms of democratisation, human rights and the rule of law have not matched its economic development. As Kazakhstan approaches another snap presidential election on 26 April 2015, uncertainty about the political situation in the country continues.

When Choosing Means Losing: The Eastern Partners, the EU and the Eurasian Economic Union

10-03-2015

The six countries in the EU's Eastern Partnership are sandwiched between two large, potent trading blocs: the EU to the west, and the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) to the east. Most of the six have chosen to pursue a deeper alliance with one or the other bloc – a tough choice, reflecting both political and economic factors. Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine signed Association Agreements with the EU on 27 June 2014. Armenia and Belarus chose to accede to the Eurasian Economic Union (belatedly ...

The six countries in the EU's Eastern Partnership are sandwiched between two large, potent trading blocs: the EU to the west, and the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) to the east. Most of the six have chosen to pursue a deeper alliance with one or the other bloc – a tough choice, reflecting both political and economic factors. Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine signed Association Agreements with the EU on 27 June 2014. Armenia and Belarus chose to accede to the Eurasian Economic Union (belatedly, in the case of Armenia). For all these countries, a choice for East or West has meant a loss: a loss of trade policy sovereignty – and likely the growth that comes with open trade policies – for some; a loss of the vital and once-fluid exchanges with the EAEU for the others. The trade and economic separation between the EU and EAEU has not aided the Eastern partners. In fact, the division is not simply a commercial one: it has been drawn – and deepened – by political and geopolitical considerations. But from a purely trade perspective, all the partners – the countries choosing one or another alliance, as well as the dozens composing the EU and EEAU – would benefit from a new and more constructive approach.

Kazakhstan: human rights situation

18-02-2015

PDF Version Kazakhstan has a poor human rights record which includes areas of concern such as freedom of expression, women's rights, the prevention of torture and ill-treatment of detainees, the regulatory framework for civil society organisations, and freedom of religion or belief. The European Parliament continues to call on the EU to closely monitor developments in the country.

PDF Version Kazakhstan has a poor human rights record which includes areas of concern such as freedom of expression, women's rights, the prevention of torture and ill-treatment of detainees, the regulatory framework for civil society organisations, and freedom of religion or belief. The European Parliament continues to call on the EU to closely monitor developments in the country.

Kazakhstan: Selected Trade and Economic Issues

25-09-2013

In a number of ways, Kazakhstan has performed best among the former Soviet republics in Central Asia. Benefitting from rich natural resources, the country recovered from the collapse of the Soviet plan economy and posted very good results for most of the last decade. With a relatively open and market-oriented economy, Kazakhstan has increasingly integrated into the world trading system, although with some serious distortions, particularly in key economic sectors such as mining and oil. Kazakhstan ...

In a number of ways, Kazakhstan has performed best among the former Soviet republics in Central Asia. Benefitting from rich natural resources, the country recovered from the collapse of the Soviet plan economy and posted very good results for most of the last decade. With a relatively open and market-oriented economy, Kazakhstan has increasingly integrated into the world trading system, although with some serious distortions, particularly in key economic sectors such as mining and oil. Kazakhstan is currently an upper-medium income country, and one viewed – thanks to its hydrocarbon reserves – as a strategic economic (and often political) partner by most of its neighbours, the EU and the US. Trade with Europe is on the rise, and the EU is the country's first trading partner. Increased revenues have helped improve infrastructure and social services, and the country has experienced significant progress in terms of human development and the fight against poverty. Social and regional disparities have not been entirely erased, however, and the country still faces serious economic, environmental and social challenges.

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