The Civic Solidarity Platform, a human rights NGO coalition of which International Partnership for Human Rights is a member, has published a new policy brief analysing the current state of EU-Central Asia relations. The policy brief, entitled “The EU and Consolidating Autocracies in Central Asia: A Dialogue of the Deaf?”, has been written by Pierre-Olivier Bigo and Jacqueline Hale.
Six years after the EU’s 2007 Strategy for a New Partnership with Central Asia was adopted, Central Asian countries are still far from displaying any genuine democratic momentum. Rights abuses remain endemic and local leaders keep entrenching their autocratic rule. This policy brief sheds light on formal and informal mechanisms of entrenching authoritarianism in the region. It argues that international partners bolster autocratic rule in Central Asian countries through ill-informed and security-led approaches to national and regional issues. It provides concrete recommendations to the EU to clarify its ambitions and expectations in the region; implement policies and funding towards Central Asian countries across a range of sectors in a manner which is benchmarked to performance on human rights and the rule of law; and to foster broader consultations with civil society organisations as part of the EU-Central Asia dialogue on key issues, such as trade and security.
The full text of the policy brief is available here.