On 23-24 May the International conference “The EU, Central Asia and the South Caucasus: new approaches on regional and international cooperation” took place in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. This conference has been co-organized by the Institute for European Politics (IEP), Germany, the Centre international de formation européenne (CIFE), France, in cooperation with the OSCE Academy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. It is the fourth and last conference of the PhD Programme “EUCACIS” for Postgraduates and Doctoral Researchers in Central Asia and the South Caucasus, funded by the Erasmus+ Programme and Volkswagen Foundation.
The conference was opened by Dr. Alexander Wolters, Director, OSCE Academy, Prof. Dr. Mathias Jopp, Head of International Programmes, Institut für Europäische Politik, and PD Dr. Matthias Waechter, Director General, Centre international de formation européenne, who welcomed participants and introduced the background of the event. Keynote speakers – H.E. Monika Iwersen, German Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, H.E. Dr Pierre von Arx, Ambassador, Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Bishkek, and Mr. Raimonds Vingris, EU Delegation in Kyrgyzstan – gave an overview over the cooperation of Germany, the OSCE and the European Union with Kyrgyzstan and the wider region.
Within four panels experts from the European Union, the South Caucasus and Central Asia discussed a broad spectrum of issues, including border issues and migration in Central Asia; chances for / and obstacles to regional and international cooperation in the areas of trade, energy, and security; and the involvement of Big Powers in Central Asia as well as social change in the post-Soviet space.