Security and the fight against drugs trafficking are major challenges for the five Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan). The EU is committed to tackling both issues through two multi-annual regional programmes: the ‘Border Management Programme in Central Asia’ (BOMCA), which is supporting the modernisation and reform of border management in the five Central Asian states; and the 'Central Asia Drug Action Programme' (CADAP), which is assisting Central Asian countries in their policies and measures aimed at reducing the demand for illegal drugs substances.
The EU allocated a sum of €33.6 million to BOMCA for the period 2003-14. As one of the EU’s largest regional programmes in Central Asia, BOMCA assists the gradual adoption of modern border management methods in Central Asia to enhance border security and facilitate legal trade and transit.
Beneficiaries include: border guards, customs administration, ministries of the interior, health and agriculture and phyto-sanitary, veterinary and quarantine services.
- Central Asian governments have received assistance for the implementation of European Integrated Border Management (IBM) practices in their own border management strategies and action plans.
- Training is enhancing the professional skills of border control and inspection officers.
- Law enforcement officers – notably at airports and railway stations – have received advanced training in halting the trafficking of illicit drugs and precursor chemicals.
- Improvements made to the working conditions of staff at border crossing points and border outposts.
- Stronger connections established between national, regional and international stakeholders through national and regional platforms.
CADAP – which began in 2001 – is assisting the gradual adoption of EU and international good practices by Central Asian nations to reduce demand for drugs. The EU allocated €20.7 million to the programme for the period 2001-13. Its phase 5 (€5 million) – implemented with a consortium of EU member states – started in 2010 and comprises several projects:
- DAMOS: (implemented by ResAd, Czech Republic) is helping the governments develop a better understanding of the drug trafficking, drug use, misuse and abuse situation in the Central Asian region, as well as the impacts and consequences of those complex phenomena. This will further result in improved policy decisions.
- TREAT: (implemented by Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Suchtforschung of Hamburg University - ZIS, Germany) is the introduction of modern drug addiction treatment methods within the public health system and the prison system by promoting the development of comprehensive and integrated treatment methods that are able to deliver a continuum of care for drug users,including drug dependence treatment, HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B/C prevention and care, and reduction of the health other social consequences.
- MEDISSA: (implemented by the National Bureau for Drug Prevention (KBPN), Poland) is helping the governments prevent potential new drug users and reduce the number of current drug addicts by better informing the general public of the risks to drug usage.
- OCAN: (implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, Germany) is assisting project management and implementation.
Programme partners include state drug control bodies, ministries of health and justice, narcological centres, treatment units in prisons and rehabilitation centres.
A sixth phase of CADAP (€5 million) – from 2013 – is in line with the EU Drug Strategy (2007-12) and EU Central Asia Drug Action Plan (2009-13) aimed at ‘preventing and reducing drug use, dependence, and drug-related harm to health and society’.
The regional headquarters of both BOMCA and CADAP are in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, with country offices in the respective four other Central Asian countries. Projects are coordinated with international partners such as: the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Asian Development Bank (ADB), USAID and GIZ.