Kazakhstan is an important partner of the EU in the Central Asian region. To further develop the overall trade, economic and cultural relations, the EU wants to strengthen its aviation relations with Kazakhstan.
Air transport relations with Kazakhstan are currently organised through air services agreements between Kazakhstan and 15 individual EU Member States. These agreements are, however, in breach of core EU Treaty provisions (the "freedom of establishment" and provision of service of EU carriers). This situation is clearly unsustainable and must be resolved. Discussions to resolve this issue have been going on for nearly five years. Kazakhstan is now one of the very few remaining countries in the world not recognising EU law and thereby in fact the EU as such in aviation. It is important that this problem is soon resolved – either through the conclusion of a "Horizontal Agreement" between the European Commission and Kazakhstan or through an amendment of the bilateral air services agreements between Kazakhstan and the EU Member States concerned.
The resolution of this problem is an important step towards further strengthening the EU-Kazakhstan aviation relations. With 430.000 passengers travelling between the EU and the country in 2010, Kazakhstan is the most important aviation partner of the EU in Central Asia.