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Although the European Union’s engagement with Central Asia has remained limited, the EU’s role in the region has evolved from an invisible and arguably ineffective donor to that of a full-fledged actor over the past fifteen years. Nevertheless, the EU still punches below its weight in the region. Because the EU’s strategy for Central Asia, developed in 2007, became increasingly outdated and subject to criticism from a wide range of stakeholders, a new strategy will be launched in May 2019. In this talk, Fabienne Bossuyt provides an early assessment of this new strategy. She evaluates whether the new strategy enables the EU to optimize its role as an external actor in Central Asia and ensure that the EU’s involvement in the region produces tangible and lasting results, effectively contributing to the sustainable development.
*Chatham House Rule applies*
Fabienne Bossuyt is Assistant Professor at the Centre for EU Studies at Ghent University (Belgium). Her main area of expertise is EU’s relations with Central Asia. Her current research projects focus on aspects of the EU’s relations with and policies towards Central Asia and other post Soviet countries, including democracy promotion, development policy and human rights promotion. She is currently coediting a book on the EU-Russia relationship (Brill), as well as a book on the EU’s and China’s engagement with Central Asia (Routledge). She has been involved in the preparation of the EU’s new strategy for Central Asia, including as rapporteur for the EU Special Representative for Central Asia and as policy advisor, inter alia, for the German and French MFAs.