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Monday, October 20, 2014

EU announces further support for development in Tajikistan

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News The European Union (EU) and the Republic of Tajikistan held their fourth Cooperation Council meeting on 20 October 2014.

The European Union (EU) and the Republic of Tajikistan held their fourth Cooperation Council meeting on 20 October 2014. The meeting was chaired by Mr Benedetto Della Vedova, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy, as the head of the EU delegation. The delegation of Tajikistan was led by Mr Sirodjidin Aslov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan.

During the Cooperation Council, the European Commission also announced new development funding of €251 million to Tajikistan for the period 2014-2020. The funds will focus on vital sectors for growth and social stability, such as rural development, health, and education.

The Cooperation Council reaffirmed the commitment of both parties to strengthen relations in a number of cooperation areas and took stock of the progress made since the third Cooperation Council between the EU and the Republic of Tajikistan in October 2013.

The Cooperation Council reiterated the importance of a comprehensive implementation of the EU Strategy for Central Asia both on a regional and national basis and welcomed Tajikistan’s active engagement in the EU regional initiatives for Central Asia. Developments were discussed as regards concrete flagship initiatives, such as on the Rule of Law, Education and Environment.

The Cooperation Council also discussed a number of issues of importance to both parties, notably political and administrative reforms, rule of law and human rights, trade and economic relations. The EU called upon the necessity for ensuring inclusive and transparent elections and for long term political stability in the country.

The Cooperation Council emphasised the importance for Tajikistan to further integrate into the world economy, including the necessity to improve the business and investment climate and to take forward economic reforms.

The Cooperation Council discussed regional and international issues, underlining the importance of regional cooperation in Central Asia and with neighboring Afghanistan. The EU appreciates Tajikistan's role in the regional cooperation, notably in the areas of border management, customs, trade facilitation and counter narcotics.

The Cooperation Council called on the Central Asian partners to search for a sustainable settlement regarding to energy, water management and environment issues in the region, underling the need for an integrated approach to water resource management taking into account the interest of all Central Asian people.

Further EU support for the development of Tajikistan

The signature of the development programme (known as Multiannual Indicative Programme), between European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan, Sirodjidin Aslov, was finalised in the margins of the EU-Tajikistan Cooperation Council.

The EU will thus focus its support to Tajikistan in the next seven years on:

• rural development (€110 million)

• health (€62.2million)

• education and vocational training (€75 million)

Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, signed the Multiannual Indicative Programme for Tajikistan in Brussels on 17 October 2014, in the presence of Mr Rustamjon Soliev, Ambassador from Tajikistan. In the margins of the EU-Tajikistan Cooperation Council, the Tajik Minister of Foreign Affairs counter-signed the document.

What is a Multiannual Indicative Programme?

Multiannual Indicative Programmes (MIPs) represent an important step in the programming of EU aid under the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI). EU Member States agreed in 2013 the overall amount for development cooperation that will be channelled to Latin America, Asia, Central Asia, the Middle-East and South Africa under the DCI during the next financing period 2014-2020 (total amount €19.6 billion).

In parallel, the preparations of a MIP for each of these countries started, defining the strategy and priorities for EU aid. These preparations are done in close cooperation with the partner countries in close consultation with other development partners (e.g. donors, civil society, private sector, etc.) so as to ensure that MIPs support national priorities where the EU has an added value.

Source :  Press agency of the European Commission

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