Organised by the Central Asia Institute for Strategic Studies (CAISS), the third event of the Horizon 2020 project SEnECA took pace in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on 29-31 January 2019. Previously, the consortium members gathered together in Berlin in January 2018 and in Riga in April 2018.
Next to the researchers of the SEnECA consortium, a range of academics, government officials, practitioners and experts from Europe and Central Asia came together to discuss the current state of affairs of EU-Central Asian relations and ways to provide policy recommendations to decision-makers and to engage interested and powerful stakeholders within the new EU Strategy for Central Asia.
Peter Burian, the EU’s Special Representative for Central Asia, were among the conference participants, which highlighted the project’s topicality and political relevance. During the scenario building workshop, the conference participants discussed and developed possible scenarios for future EU-Central Asia relations. This scientific exercise not only allowed to identify important drivers and trends in today’s Central Asia, but also deepened the analytical skills of the conference participants.
Moreover, the conference will be a great opportunity for researchers and stakeholders to meet, exchange and strengthen the bonds between the two regions. An academic policy advice training will enhance the researchers’ capacities to transfer their research results into policy recommendations towards decision-makers. This is especially important at a moment when the European Union is formulating a new strategy towards Central Asia and is consulting relevant actors with regard to possible focus areas. The strategy is supposed to be finalized in 2019 and SEnECA will impact the strategy through its different project outcomes.
The project “SEnECA – Strengthening and Energizing EU-Central Asia Relations” seeks to improve research cooperation and to strengthen capacities in research and policy advice in the EU and Central Asia. It comprises an international consortium with twelve partner organizations from the EU and all five Central Asian countries.
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