Uzbekistan–European Union relations

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Uzbekistan-European Union relations
Map indicating locations of European Union and Uzbekistan

EU

Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan–European Union relations are the international relations between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the supranational European Union.

History[edit]

The 1989 Trade and Co-operation Agreement, signed with the former Soviet Union, served as a basis for the development of bilateral relations with the EU before signing in April 15, 1992, of "the Memorandum of mutual understanding between the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Commission of the European Communities (CEC)". On November 16, 1994 diplomatic relations were established. In January 1995 the Mission of Uzbekistan to the European Communities was set up in Brussels.

On 1 July 1999 the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA)[1] entered into force, which was initially signed in April 1996 and became the basis for further development of the bilateral relations with the EU. The PCA provides an appropriate framework for the development of political relations; to support the efforts of the Republic of Uzbekistan to consolidate its democracy and to develop its economy; to promote trade and investment; and to foster co-operation in legislative, economic, social, financial, civil scientific, technological and cultural fields. Respect for democracy, principles of international law, human rights, and the principles of the market economy are the essential elements on which the EU-Uzbek partnership is based.[2]

Since 2011, the opportunities for advancing bilateral relations have further increased, as the EU and Uzbekistan signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of energy and the EU established its diplomatic representation in Tashkent in 2012.

On 28 November 2013 Vice-President of the European Commission, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton paid a visit to Uzbekistan and had meeting with President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov.

Trade[edit]

EU-Uzbekistan bilateral trade and economic relations are governed by the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA). The agreement provides for the EU and Uzbekistan to grant each other most-favored-nation treatment with respect to:

  • custom duties and charges applied to imports and exports
  • direct and indirect taxes applied to imported goods, and
  • rules relating to sale, purchase, transport, distribution and use of goods on the domestic market.[3]

The EU is an important trade and economic partner of Uzbekistan and ranked fifth in the foreign trade of the country. By the end of 2013 the trade turnover with EU countries amounted to 1.655 million. euros (which is about half of the trade between the EU and countries such as Moldova and Georgia), including export - $247 million., import - $1.408 million. Compared with 2012 turnover growth was 10.2%.[4]

Uzbek export to EU consists of more than 40 types of products and services, including cotton fiber, cotton yarn and fabrics, precious, non-precious, non-ferrous metals and articles thereof, plastics and articles thereof, products of inorganic chemistry, services, etc.

Import structure from EU to Uzbekistan consists of the following main groups of products and services: equipment, pharmaceutical products, sugar and confectionery, paper and paperboard, services, etc.

Other areas of cooperation[edit]

In Uzbekistan, the EU cooperation focuses primarily on:

  • Rule of law, good governance, democratization and human rights
  • Human and social development
  • Energy, environment, anti drug trafficking and border management[5]

The bilateral dialogue between Uzbekistan and the EU has an active bilateral nature which is carried out within of 5 joint bodies: the Cooperation Council, the Cooperation Committee, the Parliamentary Cooperation Committee, the Subcommittee on Trade and Investments, Subcommittee on Justice, Home Affairs, Human Rights and related issues.

The EU supports Uzbekistan through national-level programmes worth €32,8 million for the 2007-2010 period and €42 million for 2011-2013. In addition, the EU regional Central Asia programmes aim to promote regional cooperation and good neighborly relations in the region. EU financed country projects in Uzbekistan currently provide support towards the criminal justice reform, improvement of social services, in particular mother / child health, rural development, strengthening of civil society, and people-to-people contacts (including education) between Uzbekistan and the EU. Regional projects support the efforts of the Central Asian countries to reform management of borders and improve energy and transportation links in the region.[6]

EU Delegation to Uzbekistan[edit]

The Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Uzbekistan was officially accredited to the Republic of Uzbekistan on 31 May 2011. It has its office at the International Business Centre at Amir Temur Street. The first Head of Delegation, Norbert Jousten, handed over his credentials to H.E President Islam Karimov on 1 May 2012. At the present, the head of the Delegation is Yuri Sterk. The Delegation in Tashkent is one of over 130 European Union Delegations around the world. The role of the Delegation as the diplomatic mission representing the European Union - is to present, explain and implement the European Union's policy in Uzbekistan, analyze and report on the policies and developments of Uzbekistan.[7]

Europe-Uzbekistan Association for Economic Cooperation[edit]

A new initiative for strengthening economic ties between Uzbekistan and the business community from the European Union was inaugurated in Brussels on the 12th of November 2019. A non-for-profit, non-government organisation titled "Europe-Uzbekistan Association for Economic Cooperation", which is registered in Brussels with a representative office in Tashkent, established in order to support primarily European business activities in Uzbekistan, rendering various support & insights to the private businesses either already working or trying to enter Uzbekistan market. In its own words, the organisation "aims to become an effective collaboration platform to promote and develop trade and investment ties between European and Uzbek business communities, support creating new attractive business opportunities for economic partnerships". The organization received an endorsement from both Uzbekistan government & European business community as a modern new platform for a better communication & collaboration for European businesses in Uzbekistan.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA)
  2. ^ Uzbekistan-European Union relations Archived 9 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine - Mission of Uzbekistan to European Union
  3. ^ Uzbekistan & the EU - Trade - Delegation of the EU to Uzbekistan
  4. ^ European Commission Trade Statistics - Uzbekistan
  5. ^ Development Cooperation - Delegation of the EU to Uzbekistan
  6. ^ Uzbekistan and the EU Archived 21 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine - Rule of Law Platform - Central Asia
  7. ^ The Role of the EU Delegation - Delegation of the EU to Uzbekistan

External links[edit]