Luxemburg, 21 June 2022 (TDI): The Cooperation Council between the European Union and Kazakhstan held its nineteenth meeting on 20 June

The main agenda of the meeting is the mutual commitment to further strengthen bilateral relations and review the progress made in the implementation of the EU-Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA) which entered into force in March 2020.

The Cooperation Council was chaired by Catherine Colonna, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France. The delegation of Kazakhstan was led by Mukhtar Tileuberdi, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

EU-Kazakhstan cooperation 

Bilateral cooperation between Kazakhstan and the European Union has progressed steadily. It has become even more relevant in light of the current geopolitical context, through high-level contacts and continued exchanges at different levels.

The EU has demonstrated willingness to open new avenues of cooperation in the framework of the EPCA, for instance, on critical raw materials.

The current geopolitical context has highlighted the need for new alternative routes that connect Asia and Europe. Connectivity has become an area of strategic importance where there is a mutual interest for further association.

With regard to trade, the EU welcomed the advanced level of economic relations developed between the EU and Kazakhstan. The EU is Kazakhstan’s first trade partner and first foreign investor. Whereas Kazakhstan remains the main trade partner of the EU in Central Asia.

In 2021, the trade balance reached 12 bn € in favor of Kazakhstan. The EU welcomed the successful cooperation in the framework of the EU-Kazakhstan High–Level Business Platform launched in 2019. It also embraced the constructive spirit shown by Kazakhstan in addressing concerns shared by EU investors.

The platform acknowledges the importance of the EU in Kazakhstan’s external trade. It opens possibilities to explore new avenues of cooperation. Moreover, it provides an opportunity for reinforced political dialogue and addresses issues of good governance.

In addition, it promotes and protects human rights and engagement with civil society.