Political Relations

The political foundations for the EU’s partnership with the Kyrgyz Republic were established in the 1999 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA).  The agreement was aimed at strengthening the links between the Kyrgyz Republic and the EU. 

Taking into account the development of bilateral relations and the emergence of new areas of interaction, the EU and the Kyrgyz Republic negotiated the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA), which was initiated in July 2019. Once the legal procedures are finalized, a proposal for a Council Decision will be launched to pave the way for translations and then signed. The new agreement is expected to be signed in 2021. 

The Kyrgyz Republic is also a partner in the new European Union Strategy on Central Asia: New opportunities for a strong partnership strategy, adopted in 2019. 

EU holds annual political dialogues with Kyrgyzstan. Cooperation Council, at the level of Foreign Ministers, focuses mainly on political matters, trade, economic and investment issues, as well as regional and international issues. 

Cooperation Committee, a more technical meeting at the level of Deputy Managing Director for the EU and Deputy Minister for Kyrgyzstan, focuses on democracy, rule of law, civil liberties and human rights, trade, energy, environment, bilateral development cooperation. It aims at taking stock of the progress/slowdown of Kyrgyzstan in carrying out political, social and economic reforms.

Economic Relations and Trade

Economic activity between the EU and the Kyrgyz Republic was on the rise until COVID-19. Total trade with the EU amounted to EUR 310 million in 2020 showing a notable decrease caused by the pandemic. 

The organization of the first EU-Central Asia Economic Forum in Bishkek, tentatively scheduled for autumn 2021, would provide an opportunity to boost trade and investment between Central Asia and the EU and to discuss post-Covid economic recovery. 

The Kyrgyz Republic benefits from the EU's Generalised Scheme of Preferences plus (GSP+), the special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance (GSP+). It allows the Kyrgyz Republic to strengthen its economy by exporting 6200 products to the European Union without any tariffs/with no tax duties regime.  

As a GSP+ beneficiary, Kyrgyzstan is under a legal obligation to maintain the ratification of the 27 conventions and to ensure their effective implementation. Kyrgyzstan’s performance in this regard is subject to an enhanced monitoring mechanism by the EU side. 

Here you can find additional information regarding the Generalised Scheme of Preferences.

For additional information on the certification criteria, phytosanitary and rules of origins requirements which products have to fulfill for export to the EU, please visit the website of the Help Desk of the Directorate-General for Trade of the European Commission: http://exporthelp.europa.eu/thdapp/index.htm 

Development Cooperation

EU development cooperation in Kyrgyzstan 

EU development cooperation projects in Kyrgyzstan focus on three main sectors: Rule of Law, Education and Integrated Rural Development These follow the priorities set out in the 2014-2020 programming cycle. In line with the new central EU priorities, EU projects will also cover digitalization and green and climate-resilient economy during the period 2021-2027. 

Over the period 2014-2020, the EU allocated 174 million euros to cooperate with Kyrgyzstan for all three sectors. The EU is committed to continuing its strong cooperation with Kyrgyzstan during the next 7-year cycle. 

As well as the projects set out under the bilateral program (EU-Kyrgyzstan directly), the EU provides support for and manages programs for the entire Central Asia region. The regional projects cover areas such as border security, trade and tackling the problem of drug use and trafficking. Funds from the regional allocation are also used to finance projects related to environmental safety in places where uranium was earlier mined. 

Further information on the specific projects can be found on the project information page. 

COVID-19 support

The EU mobilized EUR 42 Million to support Kyrgyzstan address and recover from the impact of COVID-19

Immediately after Kyrgyzstan registered its first case of COVID-19 and in the weeks and months that followed, the EU responded to the immediate and mid-term needs raised by the pandemic through a dedicated support package totaling EUR 42 Million. 

This package, part of a Team Europe approach, addressed sectors including health, social protection and food security, crisis management, macrofinancial stability and support to the private sector.  

The package included EUR 30.8 million of budget support funds, which will contribute to the budgetary needs created by the crisis. This includes funding specifically to protect the most vulnerable as well as to ensure social protection and food security, among other basic services. 

By October 2020, EUR 24.8 million had been transferred to Kyrgyz budget to execute social payments and cover social needs of the government. The remaining funds are expected to be transferred in the second half of 2021. 

In addition to budget support, EUR 5.2 million was reallocated from ongoing projects implemented by the EU to cover urgent needs of beneficiaries and population in Kyrgyzstan. For example, projects donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to medics in regions, Customs and Border Guard Services. Food packages were distributed among the most vulnerable families in southern Kyrgyzstan.

Human Rights, Democracy, Rule of Law & Civil Society

The EU continues to promote the fundamental values of human rights, democracy, rule of law and civil society engagement in its ongoing and future programmes in Kyrgyzstan.

The EU has long supported the principles of human rights, democracy and rule of law in the Kyrgyz Republic, implementing programmes that support the modernization of civil procedure and administrative legislation, training judges and prosecutors, and consolidating the efforts of Kyrgyzstan to eradicate torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and support the fight against impunity in the Kyrgyz Republic.  

During the 2021-2027 period, the EU will continue to promote these aims and will aim to put in place the legal and accountability frameworks consistent with the values of a free and fair democracy, taking into account new needs and opportunities raised by digitalization. 

Gender equality is mainstreamed in all EU-funded programmes and projects and is also the focus of a specific initiative conducted in partnership with the UN, the Spotlight Initiative.