On 10 November, Brussels hosted a meeting between the European Union and the Kyrgyz Republic to discuss cooperation. The annual Human Rights Dialogue preceded the meeting on 9 November. Both meetings were held in a positive and productive atmosphere, reflecting the strengthening relationship between the European Union and the Kyrgyz Republic.
Both sides discussed strengthening cooperation on political, security, and economic issues during the Cooperation Committee meeting. They reviewed bilateral trade, transport, and regional and international cooperation. They also discussed multilateral cooperation, including the response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the circumvention of international sanctions.
In their Human Rights Dialogue, the European Union and the Kyrgyz Republic talked about the Kyrgyz government’s ongoing efforts to update national legislation following the adoption of the new Constitution. The EU emphasised the importance of implementing effective and democratic checks and balances and ensuring the Constitutional Court’s impartiality.
The EU and the Kyrgyz Republic discussed human rights and governance. The EU expressed concerns about Kyrgyzstan’s restrictive media environment and limitations on freedom of expression. They called for legislative initiatives to aligned with international standards. The Kyrgyz Republic’s ongoing efforts to restrict “foreign agents” could affect the ability of international donors, including the EU, to carry out cooperative activities in Kyrgyzstan.
During their meeting, the two parties discussed ways to enhance the power of national human rights institutions such as the Ombudsman’s office in the Kyrgyz Republic. The EU stressed the need to enforce labour rights by conducting functioning inspections. They also talked about the ongoing efforts to fight corruption and the crucial role of NGOs in achieving this goal. Additionally, they exchanged their views on the significance of having comprehensive legislation that covers all types of discrimination and addresses issues related to gender-based violence.
The Cooperation Committee was chaired by EEAS Deputy Managing Director Luc Devigne on the EU side and on the Kyrgyz side by First Deputy Foreign Minister Assein Issaev. The Human Rights Dialogue was chaired on the EU side by the EEAS Head of Division for Central Asia, Dietmar Krissler, and by First Deputy Foreign Minister Issaev on the Kyrgyz side.