Outside the EU, the Bank supports projects contributing to economic development in countries which have previously signed association or cooperation agreements with the European Commission. To date, four framework agreements have been signed: with Tajikistan in February 2009, with Kazakhstan in April 2010, with the Kyrgyz Republic in September 2013 and with Uzbekistan in October 2017.
EU and Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement
Kazakhstan has become the first Central Asian partner to have concluded an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the EU. The EU-Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement was initiated in January 2015, enhancing relations between the EU and Kazakhstan, as well as trade, services and investment which contribute to Kazakhstan's political and social development.
The EU Strategy for a New Partnership with Central Asia was adopted by the European Council in June 2007 in recognition of the increasing importance of Central Asia for EU interests relating to security, stability, governance and energy diversification.
The strategy strengthens relations in all areas of cooperation, including:
- reinforcement of dialogue on human rights,
- cooperation in the areas of education, rule of law, energy and transport, environment and water
- treating common threats and challenges (including border management and combating drug trafficking), and trade and economic relations.
The strategy is supported by a significant increase in EU assistance.
The EU and Central Asian countries have since confirmed their commitment to the strategy and its implementation is well under way.