The EU and consolidating autocracies in Central Asia: a dialogue of the deaf?

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.

The policy brief, prepared within the framework of the Civic Solidarity Platform, 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.

The paper 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.