Eurasian Economic Union: a challenge for EU policy towards Kazakhstan
Agnieszka Konopelko ()
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Agnieszka Konopelko: Bialystok University of Technology
Asia Europe Journal, 2018, vol. 16, issue 1, 1-17
Abstract As a top trading partner and the foreign investor in Kazakhstan, attempting to deepen bilateral relations and review its previous policy towards Kazakhstan and the post-Soviet Central Asian region (The post-Soviet Central Asian region unites five former Soviet republics: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) as a whole, the European Union is facing up to a new set of internal and external conditions which affects its approach to the East. One of the crucial determinants taken into account in terms of the European Union policy towards its Kazakh partner derives from the more advanced processes of Eurasian integration created by the Russian Federation. The question is whether the EU will be able to compete or complement the consistent steps of the Russian integration project and whether the EU should move beyond a trade and investment approach and place emphasis on the other strategic areas? The main research objective concentrates on the identification and examination of the relationship between political decisions and the economic ties of Kazakhstan and its main strategic partners. Considering the current geopolitical situation in Ukraine and Central Asia, the new ‘EU-Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement’ will develop more areas targeted at security and stabilization issues. However, the top-down initiatives are only the legal basis of sectorial cooperation, and the intensification of bilateral relations comes from bottom-up cooperation and people-to-people contacts.
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