The European Union and the Republic of Tajikistan held their fifth Cooperation Council meeting on 16 February 2016.
During the Cooperation Council, the European Commission reaffirmed its commitment to provide new development funding of €251 million to Tajikistan for the period 2014-2020. The funds will focus on vital sectors for growth and social stability, such as rural development, health, and education, which are particularly important in the present economic climate prevailing in Central Asia.
The Cooperation Council also reaffirmed the commitment of both parties to strengthen relations in a number of cooperation areas, and took stock of the progress made since the fourth Cooperation Council meeting between the EU and the Republic of Tajikistan in October 2014.
The EU emphasised that for the development of Tajikistan an open-minded policy based on respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms is essential.
The Cooperation Council reiterated the importance of a comprehensive implementation of the EU Strategy for Central Asia, both on a regional and national basis, and welcomed Tajikistan's active engagement in the EU regional initiatives for Central Asia. Developments were discussed as relating to the three flagship initiatives of Rule of Law, Education, and Environment; and beyond this, issues of mutual importance such as political and administrative reforms, rule of law and human rights, religious freedoms, trade and economic relations, and border security.
The Cooperation Council also addressed regional developments in the energy sector as well as security-related challenges, including border management and radicalisation. The Stability of Central Asia is of common interest to Tajikistan and the EU, and the parties will seek to increase their cooperation in this area.
The EU was represented at the Cooperation Council by Mr Bert KOENDERS, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, acting as head of the EU delegation. The delegation of Tajikistan was led by Mr Sirodjidin ASLOV, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan. Mr Aslov will also meet the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Ms Federica Mogherini. Tuesday 16 February.