Strasbourg, 5 October 2023 (TDI): The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Roman Vassilenko along with the Kazakh delegation held a series of substantive meetings with members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on October 4, to bolster the strategic ties with EU.
The meeting took place between the Kazakh delegation and MEPs during the working visit of the Kazakh Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs to Strasbourg.
The meetings were aimed at discussing the prospects for further interaction of Kazakhstan with the European Union (EU) legislature, as well as talking over the new report of the European Parliament on the assessment of the 2019 EU Strategy for Central Asia.
The report is currently being prepared by members of the European Parliament’s Committee for Foreign Affairs (AFET).
The Kazakh delegation held meetings with AFET Chair, David McAllister, Chair of the Delegation for Cooperation with Central Asia and Mongolia (DCAS), Tomáš Zdechovský, Rapporteur for Central Asia, Karsten Lucke, and Rapporteur for Kazakhstan, Klemen Grošelj.
Besides that, the Kazakh delegation also met with members of the Conference of Delegation Chairs of the European Parliament (CPDE), Juozas Olekas, and Andrius Kubilius.
During all the meetings the Kazakh and EU sides discussed a wide range of issues related to political, trade, and economic cooperation, connectivity, transport, critical raw materials, and green energy between Kazakhstan–EU, and Central Asia–EU.
In the meeting with AFET officials, both sides noted the importance of the recent mission by the AFET senior officials and members sent to Kazakhstan in August 2023.
Besides that, the preparation of the 20th meeting of the Kazakhstan-EU Parliamentary Cooperation Committee (PCC), that is to be held in November 2023, in Brussels was discussed during the meeting.
Areas of cooperation between EU and Kazakhstan
The Members of the European Parliament, Karsten Lucke, and Andrius Kubilius during the meeting with the Kazakh delegation highlighted the importance of promoting the cultural and people-to-people component in EU–Central Asia relations, especially in the fields of education, science, tourism, and youth exchanges.
The DCAS Chair, Tomáš Zdechovský in the meeting with the Kazakh delegation also noted the need to actively promote educational programs for talented Kazakh youth through the Erasmus+ program.
In his turn, AFET Chair, David McAllister expressed support for the bilateral agreements between Kazakhstan and the EU aimed at liberalizing the EU visa regime for citizens of Kazakhstan.
The Members of the European Parliament during the meeting with the Kazakh delegation noted that Kazakhstan is a strategically important partner for the European Union.
They welcomed the efforts of Kazakhstan to expand trade, economic, and investment cooperation with EU member states, including with Germany and the Czech Republic.
The Members of the European Parliament expressed their confidence in Kazakhstan for holding a responsible position on acute issues of the global agenda that opens up additional opportunities for strengthening the Kazakhstan-EU partnership.
The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Roman Vassilenko on his part during the meetings informed the MEPs about the new initiatives of Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev as well as about further measures to transform the country’s political system.
The Kazakh side drew the attention of the MEPs to the efforts of the Central Asian States to deepen intra-regional cooperation, as well as the results of recent high-level meetings in the C5+1 and Central Asia–Germany dialogues with the participation of US President Joe Biden and Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, respectively.
Following the meetings, the parties agreed to continue an active dialogue to develop comprehensive cooperation and in the framework of the preparation of the aforementioned European Parliament’s report.