The New EU Strategy for Central Asia: A Case for Cultural Diplomacy
In June 2017, on the tenth anniversary of the first Central Asia Strategy, the Council of the European Union invited High Representative Federica Mogherini and the European Commission to draw a proposal for a new Strategy by late 2019. This decision provides an opportunity to review the shortcomings of the previous Strategy and to assess the evolving regional environment, in which Russia and China have consolidated their influence.
By presenting current challenges in Central Asia, this policy brief argues that the new Strategy should enhance EU cultural diplomacy in the region. In line with the increased role of culture in European external action, EU cultural diplomacy should meet local citizenry’s aspirations and demands, and give Brussels a comparative advantage over other regional powers.