The Cooperation Council between the European Union (EU) and Kazakhstan held its sixteenth meeting on Monday, 26 February 2018 in Brussels.
The Cooperation Council was chaired by Ekaterina Zaharieva, Deputy Prime Minister for Judicial Reform and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria. The delegation of Kazakhstan was led by Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The Cooperation Council welcomed the successful implementation of the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Kazakhstan, in a number of areas including trade and customs, environment and climate change, energy and green economy as well as rule of law and judicial cooperation. The Cooperation Council confirmed the mutual interest in consolidating the relationship and cooperation, in particular in ensuring regional stability and development.
The Cooperation Council also discussed political, judiciary and economic reforms, trade and economic relations, topics that are of importance to both parties. The Cooperation Council addressed the issues of good governance, human rights protection and civil society cooperation. It also underlined the need to maintain the right balance between legitimate security measures necessary in fighting terrorism and individual rights and freedoms.
The Cooperation Council welcomed recent positive developments in the Central Asian regional cooperation. The EU announced that a new EU Strategy for Central Asia should be adopted in 2019, notably to take into account the changing political and socio-economic regional environment. Regional security aspects were also discussed in relation to Afghanistan, including border management, counter-terrorism and the fight against drug trafficking.