Cooperation between Tajikistan and the European Union

In 2001 in Bruxelles the Republic of Tajikistan has opened Permanent mission to the European Communities. In 2004 the Delegation of the European Commission of the European Communities has been opened in Dushanbe. Since 1st December 2009 the status of the Delegation of the European Commission of the European Communities to the Republic of Tajikistan has been changed to “Delegations of the European Union” and Mr. Eduard Auer has been appointed as Head of Delegation with the rank and courtesy title of Ambassador (His Credentials was presented to President of the Republic of Tajikistan in April, 2010). In 2005 the European Union adopted the decision on establishment of a post of the Special Representative for the Central Asia that also speaks about increased attention of EU to the region. From October 2006 till July 2012 Pierre Morel served as the EU Special Representative for Central Asia. Since July 1, 2012 Mrs. Patricia Flor is the EU Special Representative for Central Asia. The Republic of Tajikistan gives great importance to cooperation with the European Union. Relations with the EU are the important priority in the foreign policy of the Republic of Tajikistan. EU-Tajikistan relations are governed by the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement which came into force on 1 January 2010. It is expected to enhance bilateral relations and heighten the EU profile in Tajikistan, as it sets out the parameters for increased political dialogue and cooperation and also aims to promote bilateral trade and investments. It provides a comprehensive and ambitious framework for joint EU-Tajikistan work, in all key areas of reform. According to this document the first meeting of the Cooperation Council was held on December 13th, 2010 in Brussels. The Cooperation Council has being assisted in the performance of its duties by a Cooperation Committee composed of representatives of EU and RT. The first meeting of Cooperation Committee was held on March 16th, 2011 in Dushanbe. In relations with the EU the Republic of Tajikistan proceeds from the need to cover the most important trends and areas of interaction, including the process of democratization, rule of law, border management, combating drug trafficking, transport and energy, particularly renewable energy, water management, environmental protection, education, trade and investment, support of Tajikistan’s accession to WTO, assistance in demining the Tajik-Uzbek border, etc. From the beginning of counterterrorist operation in Afghanistan between the Republic of Tajikistan and EU members-countries cooperation on rendering support to coalition of international forces in Afghanistan and providing of infrastructure of Tajikistan to military forces of these countries was started that testifies united position in struggle against the international terrorism, extremism and illegal drugs trafficking. The President of the Republic of Tajikistan H.E. Mr. Emomali Rahmon on February 9-11, 2009 had an official visit to the EU Headquarters. In Brussels the President of the Republic of Tajikistan H.E. Mr. Emomali Rahmon has met the President of the European Commission Mr. José Manuel Barroso. During the meeting the two sides have discussed the issues of development of economic, investment and humanitarian relations between the Republic of Tajikistan and the European Union, as well as shared views on regional security problems. In the framework of the official visit to the EU institutions the Head of the Tajik State had meetings with the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Mr. Javier Solana and the Vice-President of the European Parliament Mr. Jacek Sariusz-Wolski where the issues of mutual interest have been discussed. On 11 February the President of the Republic of Tajikistan H.E. Mr. Emomali Rahmon had a meeting with the President of the European Investment Bank Mr. Philippe Maystadt. After the meeting the Agreement on Cooperation between the Republic of Tajikistan and the European Investment Bank has been signed. On May 29-30, 2009 in Dushanbe the Meeting of the Regional Political Dialogue between the EU Troika and Central Asia at the level of Ministers of Foreign Affairs has been held. Before the plenary session the heads of delegations were received by the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Mr. Emomali Rahmon. According to the agenda the representatives of the EU Troika and the ministers of foreign affairs of Central Asia have discussed the process of implementation of the EU Strategy for Central Asia, including the 2009-2013 Action Plan on Drugs between the EU and Central Asian countries. Last years the steady tendency on the further stirring up and a deepening of relations between Tajikistan and the European Parliament was kept. On April 7, 2009 representatives of the European Parliament led by Ms. Ona Jukneviиienл, Chairperson of the EU-Kazakhstan EU-Kyrgyzstan and EU-Uzbekistan Parliamentary Cooperation Committee and Committee for relations with Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Mongolia have visited Dushanbe. The 4th Inter-parliamentary Meeting EU – Republic of Tajikistan was held during the visit. The Third Human Rights Dialogue between the Republic of Tajikistan and the European Union held on February 2, 2011 in Dushanbe. In accordance to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement the first meeting of Parliamentary Cooperation Committee consisting of member of the European Parliament and Tajik Parliament (Majlisi namoyandagon Majlisi Oli) was held on March 14-16, 2011 in Brussels. During the meeting the parties discussed issues concerning human rights, rule of law, the political situation in the country, political and socio-economic reforms, water management and an implementation of hydropower projects in Tajikistan. On March 15 – 16, 2011 the ninth Central Asian Border Security Initiative Conference (CABSI) took place in Dushanbe within the framework of the EU program on assistance to border management in Central Asia (BOMCA). Participants discussed issues related to ways of strengthening border security, exploring priority areas of cooperation and interaction in the fight against drug trafficking. On March 16, 2011 the first meeting of Cooperation Committee between the Republic of Tajikistan and the European Union has been held in Dushanbe. The European Union is providing assistance to Tajikistan in the framework of a regional strategy for 2011 – 2013’s. Assistance is mainly directed at social reforms in the health and social protection, support for private sector development, support for the agricultural sector, as well as improvement of public administration and public financial management. On June 6, 2011 the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon visited Strasbourg, in the margins of which he visited the Council of Europe and European Parliament. During the visit the parties signed the Convention on the Recognition of Higher Education of the RT in Europe. A joint statement of the RT and the Council of Europe was published following the visit and the talks with the leaders and officials of the Council of Europe. It should be noted that the visit of President of Tajikistan to higher authorities of the EU in Strasbourg was the first visit among the heads of Central Asian states to the Council of Europe. One of the aspects of cooperation between Tajikistan and the European Union is implementation of the EU Border Management Program in Central Asia (BOMCA) and the EU Central Asia Drug Action Program (CADAP). At present the European Commission plans to allocate 2 million Euros for launching the 7th Phase of the Program (BOMCA-7). These financial means will be used for enhancement of the Dog Training Center of the Drug Control Agency under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, as well as for rehabilitation of three frontier posts in Darvoz and Khorugh in addition to the three frontier posts which are being reconstructed in the framework of the BOMCA-6 Program. The Fourth Round of Human Rights Dialogue between the Republic of Tajikistan and the EU conducted on October 25, 2011 in Dushanbe was a logical continuation of the previous sessions of the dialogue with the European Union. This round covered a wide range of traditional issues of mutual interest of the Tajikistan and the EU. Mr. Dirk Meganck, Director for Asia, Central Asia and Pacific, European Commission General Directorate for Cooperation and Development visited Dushanbe from 23-26 January to review development co-operation between the EU and Tajikistan and explore priorities for enhanced EU cooperation with Tajikistan for the new multi-annual financial framework 2014 -2020. During the visit delegation met heads of a number of ministries and departments where parties deliberated on the current and upcoming EU assistance programmes provided to Tajikistan and discussed perspectives of the EU development cooperation assistance for the period 2014 -2020. A new innovative EU instrument – Investment Facility for Central Asia (IFCA) was also presented. Under this new instrument the EU will fund projects in Tajikistan in the energy, water and environment sectors. The contract for the first project (€ 21 MLN Sughd region Energy Loss Reduction Project) has already been signed with a contribution of € 7 million from the EU. On May 3 – 5, 2012 a delegation of the European Parliament led by Paolo Bartolozzi, Chair of the Committee for Inter-parliamentary Cooperation has visited Tajikistan to attend the second meeting of the EU – Tajikistan Committee on Parliamentary Cooperation. On the margins of the visit the delegation met with the President, Chairman of Majlisi namoyandagon Majlisi Oli, Minister of Foreign Affairs and other officials of the Tajik Government. On 6 – 11 July 2012 a group Tajik parliamentary delegation has visited Brussels. On the margins of the visit the delegation met with leaders and representatives of a number of EU institutions, including European Parliament. The Tajik parliamentary delegation has visited NATO headquarters in Brussels and made presentations at the round-table “NATO Future Partnership with Central Asia”. In 2008 the volume of bilateral trade between Tajikistan and the EU comprised 881.3 million US Dollars, from which export was 568.2 million and import 313.1 million US Dollars. The volume of trade with the EU makes to 19.3% of the total foreign trade turnover of the Republic of Tajikistan. In 2009 bilateral trade comprised 346,9 million U.S. Dollars (export – $107,2 million, import – $238,9 million). In 2010 bilateral trade comprised 299,1 million U.S. Dollars only (export – 42,9 million, import – $256,2 million). Bilateral trade between Tajikistan and EU member states in 2011 made up 300509,76 (three hundred million five hundred nine thousand seventy six) USD (export 65,9 million USD (65913,2) and import 234,5 million USD (234597,7).

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