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EU-Uzbekistan cooperation is earmarked within two priority areas: poverty reduction and increasing living standards, with a focus on raising living standards through rural and local development schemes; and good governance and economic reform, with a focus on the rule of law and judicial reforms and support to local government bodies.

Bilateral Assistance: Ongoing programmes

The first Central Asia Multi-annual Indicative Programme (2007 – 10) under the Development and Cooperation Instrument allocated € 28.6 million towards the development of national cooperation programmes in Uzbekistan. These provided technical assistance, training, opportunities for benchmarking with EU experiences and specialized equipment. Cross-cutting issues such as gender equality and social inclusion for vulnerable groups of the population have also been addressed.

The second Multi-annual Indicative Programme covering the period 2011 – 13 allocated € 42 million. The indicative priority areas for cooperation include:

  • Governance
  • Agriculture/Rural development
  • Environment/Energy/Climate
  • Health
  • Economy/Trade/Private sector

Since 2002, and under the TACIS approach, a set of programmes on Enhancement of Living Standards in Rural Areas (€ 6.5 million) has been helping to respond to immediate community needs. By means of these programmes, and in joint management with the UNDP, the European Union has provided support for improved water services, health and education, as well as training, equipment and supplies.

Through the Institution Building Partnership Programme (IBPP) the EU has also been delivering technical assistance to Uzbek local initiatives. This has been made possible through a partnership between local organisations and international NGOs. Focal areas of this programme include women entrepreneurship, job creation and integration of children with disabilities in the mainstream education system. So far, the Institution Building Partnership Programme has already implemented 22 projects with an average budget of€ € 200 000 each. In the area of integration of disabled children into mainstream schools, the EU envisages supporting the process with the transfer of EU Member States’ experiences and know-how. The Improvement of Mother and Child Care Services (€ 3.5 million) is a joint programme of the EU, the United Nations Children's Fund and the Ministry of Health. The programme focuses on the achievement of the MDGs, particularly MDG 4 ‘Reduction of Child Mortality’ and MDG 5 ‘Improvement of Maternal Health’. Due to the relevance of these objectives, and the positive repercussions in the country, the EU envisages a second phase, expanding on nutrition and enlarging the coverage.

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Good governance

Within the framework of the rule of law, the EU programme Support to Criminal Judicial Reforms in Uzbekistan (€ 10 million) supports the reform process of the criminal justice sector. The programme enhances long-term capacity building at strategic and operational levels within the Uzbek Ministry of Justice, Supreme Court Research Centre, the General Prosecutor's Office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, regarding the implementation of new decrees on the rule of law and on the death penalty.

In 2005, the Parliament of Uzbekistan (Oliy Majlis) was transformed from a one-chamber (unicameral) legislative body that convened up to four times per year, to a bicameral body, including a non-permanent Senate and a permanent Legislative Chamber. Through the project Strengthening of the Bicameral Parliamentary System and Networking with Regional Assemblies (€ 1.5 million) the EU supports the capacity building of the Oliy Majlis by establishing an electronic library and a centre for legal expertise, providing information and analytical support, introducing a new training curriculum and exchanging best EU practices in legislative drafting and functioning of bicameral parliaments. The programme also supports the Oliy Majlis in raising citizens' awareness of its role and operation.

Economic reform

The EU supports the capacity building for SME managers and business support organisations through the Management Training Programme – Capacity Building for Small Business and Private Entrepreneurship in Uzbekistan (€ 3 million). This programme will facilitate an exchange of experience through training courses and internships for entrepreneurs, managers and business support organisations in European companies. At the local level, the programme will support capacity building and institutional strengthening of chambers of commerce and industry and other business support organisations as they develop their own services for SMEs in the area of management and consultancy.

Details of other funded projects and programmes, both regional and thematic, can be found on the website of the Delegation of the European Union to Uzbekistan.

Last update: 04/09/2012 | Top