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Workshop on EU-Turkmenistan Relations

27-03-2017

EU-Turkmenistan relations are in a position to be redefined by the proposed EU-Turkmenistan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which will require the consent of the European Parliament (and of the national parliaments of the EU member states). This workshop served as a debate platform with the intention of clarifying the understanding of the current political and societal dynamics in Turkmenistan. Such an agreement should represent a basis to enforce better standards of human rights, rule of ...

EU-Turkmenistan relations are in a position to be redefined by the proposed EU-Turkmenistan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which will require the consent of the European Parliament (and of the national parliaments of the EU member states). This workshop served as a debate platform with the intention of clarifying the understanding of the current political and societal dynamics in Turkmenistan. Such an agreement should represent a basis to enforce better standards of human rights, rule of law, and democracy in Turkmenistan, as well as for more intensive economic cooperation between the EU and Turkmenistan, which currently faces an economic crisis. The two concepts are apparently complementary but deciding which one constituted the more useful approach for engagement was the central point that structured the discussion. Regardless of the angle from which they approached the issue, however, a majority of participants in the workshop debate expressed support for adoption of the treaty, while some NGO representatives took a more cautious view.

Externý autor

Sébastien Peyrouse and Luca Ancheschi

Turkmenistan reforms need to go further

21-06-2016

The Turkmen government has introduced various reforms since 2008 and has expressed an interest in closer cooperation with the EU. Yet, the May 2016 debate in the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) on the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Turkmenistan highlighted Parliament's dissatisfaction with the reforms. On the grounds of severe human rights concerns, AFET suspended its approval of the PCA until the country makes satisfactory progress.

The Turkmen government has introduced various reforms since 2008 and has expressed an interest in closer cooperation with the EU. Yet, the May 2016 debate in the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) on the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Turkmenistan highlighted Parliament's dissatisfaction with the reforms. On the grounds of severe human rights concerns, AFET suspended its approval of the PCA until the country makes satisfactory progress.

Political parties in Turkmenistan

16-07-2015

Turkmenistan is a 'presidential republic' in which the president is vested with extensive authority. After independence in 1991, the country was ruled by Saparmurat Niyazov until his death in 2006. His successor, Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov, took timid steps towards democratisation and liberalisation. Although there are some welcome developments, the regime is still considered authoritarian. In December 2013, the Turkmens held their first ever multi-party elections.

Turkmenistan is a 'presidential republic' in which the president is vested with extensive authority. After independence in 1991, the country was ruled by Saparmurat Niyazov until his death in 2006. His successor, Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov, took timid steps towards democratisation and liberalisation. Although there are some welcome developments, the regime is still considered authoritarian. In December 2013, the Turkmens held their first ever multi-party elections.

Turkmenistan: human rights situation

18-02-2015

Since 2007, under the Government of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, no significant improvements regarding human rights and civil liberties in Turkmenistan have been observed by international human rights organisations. The EU is concerned by the situation and closely monitors human rights issues through a permanent dialogue on human rights with Turkmenistan authorities.

Since 2007, under the Government of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, no significant improvements regarding human rights and civil liberties in Turkmenistan have been observed by international human rights organisations. The EU is concerned by the situation and closely monitors human rights issues through a permanent dialogue on human rights with Turkmenistan authorities.

A Cold Winter to Come? The EU Seeks Alternatives to Russian Gas

24-10-2014

The crisis in Ukraine has led to seven rounds of sanctions between Russia and the EU – and may well lead to more. Energy is the most alarming casualty in this clash, with the EU and Russia largely interdependent in the domain. The level of dependency among EU Member States varies greatly, as does their ability to respond to Russian warnings and actions. Ukraine's gas situation is also at stake. The Russian gas exporter Gazprom ceased exporting to Ukraine in June. In late September, gas cuts were ...

The crisis in Ukraine has led to seven rounds of sanctions between Russia and the EU – and may well lead to more. Energy is the most alarming casualty in this clash, with the EU and Russia largely interdependent in the domain. The level of dependency among EU Member States varies greatly, as does their ability to respond to Russian warnings and actions. Ukraine's gas situation is also at stake. The Russian gas exporter Gazprom ceased exporting to Ukraine in June. In late September, gas cuts were registered in Slovakia, Austria, Poland and Romania – in some cases to prevent Russian gas from being diverted to Ukraine. A provisional solution for Ukraine's winter supplies was reached in Berlin on 26 September, but has yet to be completely endorsed by Moscow and Kiev. However, the risk of gas shortages for the rest of Europe has not been averted. Military and political tensions have obliged the EU to boost its energy security mechanisms and seek alternatives to Russian gas. The European Commission has just concluded a stress test on the EU gas system to assess the impact of a potential gas crisis. Several studies have suggested that, in the short term, the EU could substitute Algerian, Norwegian and Qatari supplies for Russian gas, although this would cost more and require new gas terminals. The Union’s reserves – at present 90 % full – will also help, but for how long depends on the coming winter. In the longer term, gas supplies from Azerbaijan, the United States, Iran, Mozambique, Australia, Israel and Turkmenistan could also supply the thirsty European market. EU energy policies (on renewable sources, greater efficiency, shale gas and interconnection of energy grids) could also play a role in reducing – if not completely eliminating – Europe’s dependence on Russian gas.

Turkmenistan: Selected Trade and Economic Issues

17-05-2013

Like a number of former Soviet Union republics in Central Asia, Turkmenistan has recently recorded quite high economic growth rates — often in the double digits — mainly thanks to the increasing global demand for energy and other raw materials, which are abundant in the country. Despite recent progress, the country's economic growth is still hampered by inefficient economic and public structures, still largely inspired by Soviet models and lacking modern infrastructure. The geographical location ...

Like a number of former Soviet Union republics in Central Asia, Turkmenistan has recently recorded quite high economic growth rates — often in the double digits — mainly thanks to the increasing global demand for energy and other raw materials, which are abundant in the country. Despite recent progress, the country's economic growth is still hampered by inefficient economic and public structures, still largely inspired by Soviet models and lacking modern infrastructure. The geographical location of Turkmenistan, a land-locked country with some 'difficult' neighbours (such as Iran and Afghanistan), also negatively influences its development. Among the former Soviet Union republics, Turkmenistan has what is probably the worst record in terms of economic and trade liberalisation. Despite growing public revenues, malnutrition still plagues remote rural areas, and poverty is widespread.

Security Aspects of the South Stream Project

23-10-2008

South Stream is a joint project by the Russian firm Gazprom and the Italian company Eni to develop a pipeline to transport gas to European markets. If it is constructed, the impact of South Stream, projected to be the most expensive pipeline ever built, will be significant not only for Europe's energy supplies, but also for its security and its foreign relations. This paper aims to provide an insight into security-related issues in the context of this planned project. It is intended as a background ...

South Stream is a joint project by the Russian firm Gazprom and the Italian company Eni to develop a pipeline to transport gas to European markets. If it is constructed, the impact of South Stream, projected to be the most expensive pipeline ever built, will be significant not only for Europe's energy supplies, but also for its security and its foreign relations. This paper aims to provide an insight into security-related issues in the context of this planned project. It is intended as a background document for use by the Committee on Foreign Policy during its deliberations and its preparation of a report on this subject.

Externý autor

Zeyno Baran (Center for Eurasian Policy - CEP, Hudson Institute)

Black Sea Regional olicy Approach: a Potential Contributor to European Energy Security

16-10-2007

Externý autor

Dr Burcu Gültekin-Punsmann

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