A Kazakh delegation including President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov made an official visit to Brussels on October 8 – 9th to discuss the expansion of cooperation between Kazakhstan and the European Union.
This coincided with the publication of new research by respected UK pollsters ICM Research showing greater awareness of Kazakhstan in the key EU countries.
President Nazarbayev met with José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission (pictured above), to discuss a wide range of issues related to bilateral cooperation, in the light of the signing of a new and expanded Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between Kazakhstan and the EU. Both parties noted the high level of cooperation achieved over the years since Kazakhstan’s Independence, and President Nazarbayev expressed gratitude to President Barroso for his significant contribution to the development of cooperation between Kazakhstan and the European Union.
In an article published in the Wall Street Journal Europe to coincide with his visit, President Nazarbayev expressed his appreciation for cooperation in areas such as energy, security and education, and concluded: “Last year marked the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and the EU. Over this period our country has become an important partner for Europe in Central Asia and beyond. The signing of the new PCA in Brussels will open a new chapter in Kazakhstan-EU relations.”
During the visit, the Eurasian Council on Foreign Affairs – a new Brussels-based think tank at the heart of the European Union focused on Central Asia – published opinion research from the distinguished British polling agency ICM Research, assessing EU citizens’ changing perceptions of Kazakhstan. The poll results, summarised here, suggest a growing awareness of Kazakhstan’s policies and initiatives, and an increasingly positive perception of Kazakhstan in general, among EU citizens.