Season’s Greetings from the ECFA

What a year it’s been for the ECFA!   Our Third Annual Meeting, held on October 6 – 7th in the luxurious setting of Cliveden House in Berkshire, UK, was our most successful event to date, attended by H.E. Erlan Idrissov, H.R.H. the Duke of York, Members of the ECFA Advisory Council and distinguished guests from Her Majesty’s Government.

In addition to an informative Board Meeting and private dinner with Council Members and guests, the Annual Meeting included breakout Discussion Groups on political, institutional, security and economic relations between the countries of Europe and Central Asia, led by expert participants and moderated by The Rt. Hon. Jack Straw and The Rt. Hon. Peter Lilley, MP.

I am grateful to all attendees for their fascinating contributions over these two days, and in particular to Prince Andrew for honouring us with his presence. Special thanks is also due to Dr. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Chair of the ECFA Advisory Council, for her invaluable work in making the event a complete success.

Elsewhere, I am pleased to report that the ECFA has continued to make its mark this year as an independent, authoritative voice on European-Central Asian affairs.

We have distributed twelve Newsletters to over half a million European and Central Asian decision-makers and influencers in the media, academic and political spheres, and published four informative Occasional Papers in five languages, with more to come in the very near future.  This year our research has focussed on investment opportunities and economic developments throughout Central Asia – a practical approach very much reflected in the guest list and discussion topics for this year’s Annual Meeting.

As a result, our website traffic and subscriber base have grown significantly, as have our relations with fellow think tanks and academic institutions.   I would like to thank all our subscribers, online visitors, academic partners, sponsors and distinguished participants in this year’s Annual Meeting for bringing another year towards a successful conclusion.

On behalf of the ECFA, I wish you a prosperous end of the year, and look forward to updating you on further exciting developments in 2017!

Zhanbolat Ussenov