Bilateral relations of Tajikistan with the European Union

01.03.2013 10:10

Diplomatic relations between Tajikistan and the EU became more active with the opening of the Permanent mission of the Republic of Tajikistan to the European Communities in 2001 in Bruxelles. In turn, the Delegation of the European Commission of the European Communities (since 2009 the Delegation of European Union) has been opened in Dushanbe in 2004.

Legal Base. EU-Tajikistan relations are governed by the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) which was signed in 2004 and came into force on 1 January 2010. It is expected to enhance bilateral relations and heighten the EU profile in Tajikistan and provides a comprehensive and ambitious framework for joint EU-Tajikistan work in all key areas of reform.

Its objectives are to provide a framework for political dialogue; to provide a basis for legislative, economic, social, financial, civil, scientific, industrial, technological and cultural cooperation; to promote trade and investment, in particular in the energy and water sectors, and sustainable economic development; and to support Tajikistan's efforts to consolidate its democracy, to develop its economy and social infrastructure and to achieve transition to a market economy.

Political Aspect. The Republic of Tajikistan gives great importance of cooperation with the European Union. Relations with EU are the important priority in the foreign policy of the Republic of Tajikistan.

Under the PCA on a regular basis the meetings of the Cooperation Council, the Cooperation Committee and the Parliamentary Cooperation Committee are held.

Regionally, the political framework for EU-Tajikistan relations is provided by the European Union and Central Asia: Strategy for a New Partnership adopted by the European Council in June 2007.

In 2005 the European Union adopted the decision on establishment of a post of the Special Representative for the Central Asia that also speaks about increased attention of EU to the region.

The EU Strategy towards Central Asia strengthens relations in all areas of cooperation. It has reinforced political dialogue with more regular meetings between EU and Central Asian Foreign Ministers, has seen the introduction of structured human rights dialogues, and has led to EU Initiatives on education, the rule of law, and on environment and water. It has also strengthened cooperation on energy and transport, common threats and challenges (including border management and combating drug trafficking), and trade and economic relations.

The strategy is supported through a significant increase in EU cooperation assistance. According to the EU Multi-indicative program 2014-2020 for Tajikistan 251 million Euro has been allocated.

Visits. The President of the Republic of Tajikistan H.E. Mr. Emomali Rahmon has visited European Communities four times with an official visit (Brussels in February 2009, Strasburg in June 2011 and Brussels in April 2013 and December 2015). In the framework of the first official visit on February 9-11, 2009 the Agreement on Cooperation between the Republic of Tajikistan and the European Investment Bank has been signed.

High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission Catherine Ashton on the margins of her visit to Central Asia visited Tajikistan on November 29, 2012. During the visit Ms. Ashton met with the President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon.

Economy and Trade. Trade turnover between Tajikistan and the European Union countries in 9 month of 2016 amounted to 225,753.4 million US Dollars (export 122,442.8 USD and import 103,310.6 USD).

Culture. Delegation of the European Union holds an annual "European Week" in Tajikistan. Also Tajik Embassy in Belgium annually celebrates the "Navruz" in Brussels.

International Cooperation. From the beginning of counterterrorist operation in Afghanistan between the Republic of Tajikistan and EU members-countries cooperation on rendering support to coalition of international forces in Afghanistan and providing of infrastructure of Tajikistan to military forces of these countries was started that testifies united position in struggle against the international terrorism, extremism and illegal drugs trafficking. Also the sides actively cooperate in the frameworks of WTO.