Central Asia is a region the size of Western Europe and contains five countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.   Blessed with some of the richest and most diverse resources anywhere in the world, over the last twenty years the region has shown its commitment to become a reliable, long-term partner of the West.

Kazakhstan is Central Asia’s engine for economic growth, and the Government of Kazakhstan has taken the lead in developing relations with the European Union.

In its commitment to the process of deepening political and economic relations with European states, Kazakhstan is participating in the Eurasian Council on Foreign Affairs (ECFA) and is providing an annual contribution towards its running costs.  The Honorary President of the Eurasian Council on Foreign Affairs is H.E. Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan.   As with similar institutions in other countries, it is anticipated that other governments in the region and corporate sponsors and private individuals will join the growing funding base of the ECFA.

The Eurasian Council on Foreign Affairs has been modelled on the highly successful Council on Foreign Relations in the US, the United Kingdom’s Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House and the EU’s own European Council on Foreign Relations.   It is envisaged that over time, the Eurasian Council on Foreign Affairs will become a valuable and independent source of high-quality research, publications and information that will keep Europe fully abreast of the fast-changing development of the Central Asian region.   This is a work-in-progress, and it will require dedication and commitment from the ECFA’s team of researchers and writers.

A list of the ECFA’s Occasional Papers can be found here.

The formal launch of the ECFA took place in Brussels on November 12th, 2014, hosted by the Council’s first Honorary President, H.E. Erlan Idrissov.  The ECFA’s Advisory Council attended the launch together with a  distinguished audience that included a number of senior representatives of the European Commission, the OSCE, NATO, the European External Action Service, and others.  On December 2nd 2015, the ECFA held the Second Annual Meeting of its Advisory Council at the Imperial Hotel in Vienna, Austria in the company of officials, resident diplomats and the international media. The Third and Fourth Annual Meetings were held at Cliveden House, Berkshire in the United Kingdom on 6 – 7th October 2016 and 20 – 21st November 2017, in the presence of distinguished guests from British and European politics, business and finance, media and academia and HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York.   The Fifth Annual Meeting was held once again at Cliveden House on 4 – 5th December 2018.

The ECFA’s Director, Rauan Kenzhekhanuly, will share his thoughts on the region and the happenings at the Council in his Blog.  You can subscribe to ECFA’s publications here.