The European Union is a unique economic and political union between the 27 EU countries that together cover most of the continent. The European Union’s fundamental values are respect for human dignity and human rights, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law. These values unite all the member states and the European Parliament seeks to ensure that these values are realised in the EU legislation.
The EU and the Kyrgyz Republic have been partners since the country gained its independence in 1991. From the very beginning of this relationship, the EU has supported Kyrgyzstan in implementing reforms. By sharing common values such as democracy, respect for human rights and free trade, Kyrgyzstan has become an important partner for the EU in Central Asia.
The political foundations for the EU’s partnership with the Kyrgyz Republic were established in the 1999 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA). The agreement aimed at strengthening the links between the Kyrgyz Republic and the EU.
Taking into account development of bilateral relations and emerging of new areas of interaction, the EU and the Kyrgyz Republic negotiated the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA), which was initialed in July 2019. It is expected to be signed in 2020.
The Kyrgyz Republic is also a partner in the European Union and Central Asia: New opportunities for a strong partnership strategy adopted in May 2019.
Civil society dialogue
Civil society actors have been active in promoting human rights and freedom of speech. The EU is committed to strengthening the role of civil society by encouraging non state actors to become involved in the process.
An important instrument that the EU uses to promote civil society and human rights is the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR). The main objectives of the EIDHR are to:
- help set up democratic institutions;
- strengthen judicial and non-judicial human rights protection mechanisms;
- provide training in human rights monitoring;
- promote media independence;
- support the abolition of the death penalty;
- enhance women’s rights and the rights of vulnerable groups.
The bilateral Development Cooperation is based on the Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) for 2014-2020 with the total budget of EUR 174 million. It is focused on three main sectors:
The new MIP for 2021-2027 will be developed by the European Union in close cooperation with the Kyrgyz Republic to address needs and provide necessary support to the country.
In addition to the bilateral programmes, the Kyrgyz Republic benefits from the regional programmes. For instance, the EU has provided around EUR 90 million grants to support investments, mainly in the water sector, through the EU Investment Facility for Central Asia (IFCA).
The EU recognizes that human rights, rule of law, good governance and democratisation underpin the long-term political stability and economic development of Central Asia.
The recently adopted EU-Central Asia Strategy also includes plans for human rights dialogue with all five Central Asian countries. This dialogue is vital for:
- discussing questions of mutual interest and enhancing cooperation;
- raising the concerns of the EU on human rights;
- gathering information and launching initiatives to improve the human rights situation where required.
The EU has been holding annual bilateral dialogue on human rights with the Kyrgyz Republic since 2008. The EU also organises various civil society seminars, attracting people from the community of human rights experts.
The Centre for Creative Development “Danilo Dolci”
The Centre for Creative Development “Danilo Dolci” is a non-profit organisation composed by youth and adults. Our main field of interest is education.
Our organisation born from the educational and working experience of the great pacifist Danilo Dolci and his collaborators that operated in Trappeto and Partinico, two small towns near Palermo, and in all the region of Sicily. Through popular self-analysis, nonviolent fight, meetings that involved thousands of people, it was possible to create the conditions for a real change and development. The first organisation created by Danilo and his collaborators was constituted in the 50’, the Centre for Studies and Initiatives, and its main aim was to promote the social, economic, cultural and educational development at local and regional (Sicily) level. After this centre transformed in the Centre for Creative Development that had the main aim of promote the reciprocal maeutic approach (innovative approach developed by Danilo Dolci) in schools and educational institutions and train teachers and educators in this innovative and human methodology of education. After Danilo’s dead, in 1998, the organisations becomes to be called Centre for Creative Development “Danilo Dolci”.
Nowadays the main aims of the organisation are:
- Disseminate the life and work of Danilo Dolci;
- Promote education to children, youth and adults through the reciprocal maieutic approach;
- Promote the reciprocal maieutic approach in the school context and at international level;
- Educate for peace and nonviolence;
- Educate to group work as a tool for cultural, social and civic promotion;
- Promote active citizenship and participative democracy between youth people;
- Promote the grass root participation of all in the development.
The main activities through which the organisation tries to achieve these aims are:
- Organise maieutic workshops in schools, universities, organisations and institutions;
- Organise cultural and educational activities that promote the life and work of Danilo Dolci;
- Make that the books Danilo wrote during his life are published again and organise new anthologies that gather his most important writings;
- Organise European projects (seminars, training courses, youth exchanges, etc) that involve youth from diverse countries, about the themes of nonviolence, peace, active participation and reciprocal maieutic;
- Organise European projects in the sphere of adult education using as privileged method the reciprocal maieutic approach.
Public Association “Social Technologies Agency”
The Social Technologies Agency (STA) is a public association whose mission is to promote the social development of Kyrgyzstan through training and supporting social activity and self-organization of citizens of the republic.
STA in its activities seeks to build constructive interaction with government agencies, civil society organizations and facilitate coordination between all groups and organizations interested in promoting equality policy. All projects and activities conducted by STA are aimed at working with specific social groups (women, ethnic minorities, youth, employees of ministries or local governments) in order to increase its social activity and the formation of self-organization skills, as well as strengthening the interaction of state bodies with civil society organizations.
Currently, STA’s priority target group is women who can become social leaders, and the main focus is on promoting a gender equality policy through interaction with government bodies at the national and local levels.
PA “Social Technologies Agency” is one of the leading women’s non-governmental organizations that are actively and effectively working to promote gender equality policies and strengthen the women’s movement. It is experts of the Social Technologies Agency, starting in 2001, who initiated the creation of the first national women’s network in Kyrgyzstan, “Women Can Do It!” from among women leaders in all regions of the republic, and in the framework of the ODIHR OSCE multi-year program (2001-2006), they provided methodological, expert, technical, informational and organizational support for the establishment and development of this network. Today, network members are partners of STA in the regions.
STA acted as the locomotive and think tank for gender quotas lobbying campaigns in electoral law, maintaining the principle of secularism of the state in the Constitution, maintaining criminal penalties for polygamy, improving gender legislation and highlighting an authorized gender policy body within the government.
The project is implemented in collaboration with the following government bodies:
Ministry of Labor and Social Development of the Kyrgyz Republic
The Ministry of Labor and Social Development of the Kyrgyz Republic is the central executive body of state power that conducts state policy and administers in the field of social development and labor, including issues of improving the living standards and incomes of the population, wages, pension and social security, labor conditions and safety, social partnership and labor relations, demographic policy, social protection of the population, including support for families and children, senior citizens, as well as coordinating the activities of other government bodies in these areas.
The Ministry solves the following main tasks:
- development and implementation of state social policy in the field of social development and labor, wages, social partnership and labor relations, social protection of the population, pension and social security, support for families and children, senior citizens, demography within the framework of the main activities of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic;
- adjustment and implementation of the main directions and priorities of state social policy and coordination and methodological support for the implementation of social development programs, coordination of activities in the field of labor and labor protection;
- improvement of legislation in the field of labor, labor protection and working conditions, social protection, social and pension security of the population, development of social norms and minimum social standards within their competence;
- development and implementation of measures to improve the living standards and incomes of the population, improve the organization of wages, the system of state benefits and compensation payments, as well as to develop pension provision;
- determination of ways and development of effective methods for the implementation of the constitutional rights of citizens to work in conditions that meet the requirements of safety, security and hygiene;
- implementation of the policy of social security of citizens in the event of illness and disability, pregnancy and childbirth, industrial injury and occupational disease, as well as taking measures to improve the health of working citizens and members of their families;
- reforming social services and inspecting social services in the field of social protection, health care, education, as well as monitoring the provision of services by non-governmental organizations;
- improving the legal and organizational framework for attracting, accounting and distributing humanitarian aid, coordinating the organization of humanitarian aid.
Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic
The Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic is the central executive body that conducts state policy and exercises management in the field of education and science and state control over the availability and quality of education, ensuring the constitutional right of citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic to education.
The Ministry carries out its activities in cooperation with other executive bodies, local self-government, public associations, scientific and other organizations.
The main goal of the Ministry is the formation of state policy in the field of education, science and scientific and technical activities.
The main tasks of the Ministry are:
- creation of an education system aimed at the formation, development and professional development of an individual;
- improving the quality of education;
- creation of conditions and mechanisms for the development of scientific activity.
Ministry of Culture, Information and Tourism of the Kyrgyz Republic
The Ministry of Culture, Information and Tourism of the Kyrgyz Republic is the central state executive body authorized to carry out state policy in the field of culture, information and tourism. The purpose of the Ministry is the sustainable development of the sphere of culture, information and tourism.
The tasks of the Ministry in the field of culture, information and tourism are:
- implementation of a unified state policy in the fields of culture, information and tourism;
- preservation, use and development of historical and cultural heritage;
- creation of conditions for the development of folk art, participation of citizens in cultural life and the organization of leisure activities for the population;
- ensuring the creation of a single information space in the spheres of culture and information in the Kyrgyz Republic;
- making proposals for creating favorable conditions for the development of the media, printing enterprises, book publishing and distribution of printed products;
- making proposals for creating favorable investment conditions for the development of tourism facilities and infrastructure;
- promoting the growth of the quality of services provided by the tourism sector;
formation and support of a positive image of Kyrgyzstan as a country favorable for tourism.
State Agency for Local Self-Government and Interethnic Relations under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic
The State Agency for Local Self-Government and Interethnic Relations under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic was established by the Resolution of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic dated March 5, 2013 No. 109 “On functional and structural changes in the system of state executive bodies of the Kyrgyz Republic.”
The main tasks of the agency are:
- improvement and strengthening of the organizational, legal, financial and economic foundations of local self-government;
- improving the activities of local self-government bodies, strengthening their responsibility to the local community;
- protection of the rights and interests of local self-government protected by law;
- creating conditions for inter-municipal cooperation;
- strengthening interethnic harmony and common civic identity in the Kyrgyz Republic;
- taking measures for the free and equal development of ethnic groups in the Kyrgyz Republic and ensuring their rights;
- creating conditions for the effective development of ethnic diversity.
State Commission for Religious Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic
The State Commission for Religious Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic is the central body of the Kyrgyz Republic, which works to shape and implement public policy in the religious sphere and coordinates the activities of the Kyrgyz Republic’s state bodies in the field of religions.
The main objectives of the State Commission are:
- the development and implementation of public policy in the religious sphere;
- ensuring the rights of citizens to freedom of conscience and religion, coordinating the relations of the state with religious organizations in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic, acts of the President and The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, and other regulations;
- providing legal guarantees of religious freedom, further improving the legal regulation of the relationship between the state and religious organizations;
- coordination of kyrgyz state bodies on religious policy;
- promoting values, principles, secular, multi-religious society;
- suppression of the activities of religious organizations that cause harm or threatening health, morality, rights and legitimate interests of citizens, the foundations of the constitutional order, the security of the state in accordance with the current legislation;
- cooperation with state authorities to develop preventive measures to prevent religious extremism in the territory of the republic;
- The development and implementation of programmes aimed at strengthening the spiritual and moral foundations of society, preventing conflict and establishing a relationship of mutual tolerance between followers of different religions and faiths;
- proposals to improve the legislative framework for the implementation and respect of human rights to religious freedom.