European Parliament Aims to Forge Stronger Ties with Kazakhstan

ASTANA – Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko held meetings with members of the European Parliament (MEPs) during his working visit to Strasbourg. The discussions centered on future cooperation with the European Union (EU) legislature and the forthcoming report evaluating the 2019 EU Strategy for Central Asia, currently under preparation by members of the EP’s Committee for Foreign Affairs (AFET), reported the ministry’s press service on Oct.4.

Roman Vassilenko and David McAllister. Photo credit: MFA’s press service.

The Kazakh delegation met with several key figures, including AFET Chair David McAllister, Chair of the Delegation for Cooperation with Central Asia and Mongolia (DCAS) Tomáš Zdechovský, Rapporteur for Central Asia Karsten Lucke, Rapporteur for Kazakhstan Klemen Grošelj. They also engaged with members of the Conference of Delegation Chairs of the European Parliament (CPDE), Juozas Olekas and Andrius Kubilius.

Discussions centered around current political, trade, and economic cooperation between Kazakhstan and the EU and Central Asia and the EU, covering connectivity, transportation, critical raw materials, and green energy.

MEPs acknowledged Kazakhstan’s strategic importance for the EU and praised the country’s efforts to enhance trade, economic, and investment ties with EU member states, including Germany and the Czech Republic. They emphasized that Kazakhstan’s responsible stance on global issues presents opportunities to strengthen the Kazakhstan-EU partnership.

European Parliament Aims to Forge Stronger Ties with Kazakhstan. Photo credit: MFA’s press service.

Vassilenko provided insights into President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s initiatives, as outlined in his state-of-the-nation address, and discussed further measures to reform the country’s political system.

The MEPs also expressed interest in Central Asian states’ efforts to enhance intra-regional cooperation. They highlighted the outcomes of recent high-level meetings in the C5+1 format in New York with the United States President Joe Biden and Central Asia–Germany dialogue with the Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz. 

MEPs Lucke and Kubilius stressed the importance of promoting cultural and people-to-people exchanges in EU-Central Asia relations, particularly in education, science, tourism, and youth programs. 

Zdechovský emphasized the need to support educational initiatives for talented Kazakh youth through the Erasmus+ program.

The parties agreed to work closely to develop comprehensive cooperation, particularly in preparing the EP report.

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