Kalba debatuose dėl naujos ES ir Vidurinės Azijos santykių darbotvarkės, skirtos 13-ajam metiniam ministrų susitikimui
EP plenarinė sesija
2018 03 13
Madame Mogherini, colleagues, Central Asia has the potential to be a major gateway between Europe and Asia with a growing market and significant potential for investment and trade, so EU’s new Strategy for Central Asia should provide a more forward-looking and goal-oriented vision and supporting tools. It would also help to respond adequately and timely to current challenges such as the ongoing democratisation processes in the region, fighting terrorism and extremism, as well as environmental issues.
In general, over the past years the geo-political environment has changed significantly in the region. The US has lost prestige, and its presence as well as its interest is decreasing in the region. The European Union, though losing a bit of attraction because of the financial and refugee crisis and Brexit, can stay as active as China and Russia in the region – of course, not in a similar scope yet, but the EU is still key to Central Asia and its future.
Two new regional initiatives, China’s OBOR and the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union, are taking the lead in investment and potentially could transform Central Asia’s political landscape, so the necessary instruments should be implemented in Central Asian countries in order to keep Russia’s and China’s political and economic influence under control.
The EU should focus on realistic initiatives that fit within existing regional projects, and the EU needs to be more actively present in each country of Central Asia in order to address the emerging geopolitical challenges and expand cooperation with the countries of the region.