European Union to strengthen educational
assistance to Uzbekistan
On 16 July 2020, an expert
videoconference “The Human Dimension in the Relations between the European
Union and Uzbekistan: Youth, Exchanges and a Better Life” took place.
The meeting of experts from the Institute for Strategic and Interregional
Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the University of
World Economy and Diplomacy with European colleagues continued the series of
brainstorming sessions organized with the support of the Embassy of the
Republic of Uzbekistan in the Kingdom of Belgium.
On the part of the European Union, the conference was attended by members of
the European Parliament, representatives of the European External Action
Service, experts from the European Council on the affairs of neighboring
countries, as well as analysts from leading European countries, including
Germany, which is now performing the functions of the EU presidency.
In the format of online communication, such issues as the perception of the
citizens of Uzbekistan, and especially young people, of the concept of a
“good life” and the constituent “ingredients” for achieving it, as well as
the directions of development of Uzbek-European cooperation that are in
demand in this regard, were considered.
Opening the event, the Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the
Benelux countries Dilyor Khakimov emphasized that youth policy is the basis
of plans for reforming and further development of Uzbekistan. In recent
years, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev initiated and implemented deep
structural changes in this direction, covering bоth external and internal
aspects of the policy of the new Uzbekistan.
The efforts undertaken by Tashkent are not ignored in Europe, said Samuel
Westerbier, director of the European Council for Neighboring Countries. He
noted that Uzbekistan is currently going through an important stage of
reforms begun in 2016. In his opinion, the new Agreement on Enhanced
Partnership and Cooperation between the European Union and the Republic of
Uzbekistan should become a very important milestone in the cooperation of
the parties. In this regard, the expansion of relations between civil
societies, exchange programs aimed at developing human potential, will
unlock the potential of bоth concluded trade relations and better
relationships between all segments of the population.
In this context, Deputy Director of ISMI Sanjar Valiev outlined the key
aspects of responsible social policy in Uzbekistan in the context of the
COVID-19 pandemic and the government’s strategic vision for post-crisis
recovery, taking into account the use of the potential of youth.
In particular, the expert outlined a whole set of proposals for projects in
the field of education and vocational training of Uzbek youth for joint
efforts in which the EU’s potential can play the most useful role.
Referring to the topic of the videoconference, the deputy head of the ISMI
proposed to derive a formula for the perception of a "better life" based on
the achievement of indicators of 17 UN global sustainable development goals
adopted for the period until 2030. He especially emphasized that the updated
EU Strategy for Central Asia and the Cooperation Agreement with Uzbekistan
had gone through a deep study, acquired a comprehensive character, taking
into account the needs of the steadily continuing reforms of the President
of Uzbekistan. In this regard, the parties need to move to the systematic
implementation of these agreements, focusing existing and additional
resources on the development of human capital.
The readiness of the European Union to support Uzbekistan in every possible
way on the path of reforms was voiced by a member of the European
Parliament, Ilkhan Kuchuk. As Special Rapporteur to the European Legislature
on Uzbekistan, he highlighted Brussels’ goals in Central Asia, which are
also designed to ensure better understanding between people. In his words,
the consistent implementation of the declared transformations in Uzbekistan
contributes to the perception of the country in the European Union as a
As the parliamentarian stressed, Europe is well aware that the complex
reforms carried out by Uzbekistan provide not only opportunities, but also
full of challenges. In encouraging these changes, Brussels stands ready to
firmly support Tashkent. The European Union also holds that people and their
potential are the key to success in solving emerging problems.
Focusing on the policy of external openness and the importance of
participation of the young generation in the implementation of reforms,
Vice-Rector of the University of International Economics and Diplomacy
Gulnoza Ismailova stressed that youth is not just the future, but the
already come day of Uzbekistan.
The representative of the Directorate General for International Cooperation
and Development of the European Commission, Maciei Madalinskiy, noted the
start of a new program “In Search of Common Understanding” aimed at youth
participation in decision-making processes.
As a result of the conference, the parties came to the need to organize
speeches of representatives of expert and public circles of Uzbekistan in
the European Parliament in the coming months. They also discussed the
development of a draft "road map" by specialists for expanding cooperation
in the field of education and professional training.