The independent resource on global security

The Central Asian–European relationship at a crossroads?

View over Dushanbe, the capital city of Tajikistan
Dushanbe, the captial city of Tajikistan

SIPRI, Signalistgatan 9, Solna

In 2007, the European Union adopted the Strategy for a New Partnership with Central Asia. Nearly a decade later, the countries and societies of Central Asia have experienced important domestic and international change. The recent death of Uzbekistan’s long-term leader Islam Karimov marks the beginning of a shift to a new leadership generation in key countries of the region, and raises questions about how Central Asia’s non-democratic politics will adapt to these power transitions. Despite some progress in the region over the past twenty-five years, much of Central Asia is confronted by stagnant economies, low levels of human development and deepseated corruption. With opposition movements suppressed and human rights under pressure from governments, the region has experienced incidents of extremist violence.

Externally, the rise of China and the launch of its One Belt, One Road initiative and the revitalization of Russia’s interest in Central Asia has begun to shift Central Asia’s geo-economics and to challenge its ‘multipolar’ foreign and security policies.

What are the key regional security challenges facing Central Asia? Will Central Asia’s nondemocratic model of stability endure as the region experiences internal change and new external relationships? How can the EU best build its relationship with the states and societies of Central Asia as the region transforms?


Programme: Coffee will be served at 10:30; the discussion will start at 10:45


H.E. Ambassador Peter Burian, EU Special Representative for Central Asia

Dr Neil Melvin, Senior Researcher, SIPRI's Russia and Eurasia Programme

Ekaterina Klimenko, Researcher, SIPRI's Russia and Eurasia Programme


Dan Smith, Director, SIPRI

Registration information

Please confirm your participation by 19 October to Ms Cynthia Loo, SIPRI Senior Management Assistant, Tel: 08-655 97 51, email: