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Essay: Relations between the European countries and Central Asia

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Relations between the European countries and Central Asia have roots going far back in history to the times when the network of trade routes that is referred to as the Great Silk Road was established. More recently, the end of the Cold War contributed to the creation and further development of economic and political ties between these two regions.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and with the emergence of a number of newly independent states, the European countries found themselves facing an entirely different region, whose countries, (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) have different sets of values and a completely distinct mindset.
Among them, Kazakhstan, which ‘constitutes an important geostrategic asset of the region’ (Ratsiborynska, 2014), has become a key EU partner in Central Asia. The relations between them have been developing dynamically, and have proven beneficial for both parties, especially in economic, energy and security spheres.
The EU has progressively become the largest trading partner for Kazakhstan, accounting for more than half of its total external trade, amounted to USD 53.4 billion in 2013 (Nazarbayev, 2014). The EU imports from Kazakhstan are comprised largely of natural resources, with Kazakhstan being the fifth largest exporter to the EU of these products (Pongas, Todorova&Gambini, 2014).
EU exports to Kazakhstan have also been increasing. The total has jumped from slightly over EUR 3 billion in 2004 to almost EUR 7.5 billion in 2013. In terms of the EU regional trade, Kazakhstan is considered to be the most active Central Asian trading partner of the EU. For instance, in 2012 total exports of the European goods to Central Asian states were equal to over EUR 10 billion. Approximately 70% of the total amount of EU exports to the region went to Kazakhstan and were worth EUR 7.1 billion in 2012. The largest shares of the EU exports to Kazakhstan are devoted to machinery, transport equipment and chemicals.
It is also worth mentioning that European investment has also risen significantly. The total inflow of the EU FDI to Kazakhstan for the period from 1993 to 2013, accounted for US 70 billion out of US 160 billion of all attracted investment (Akhinzhanov, 2013).
The collaboration between the EU and Kazakhstan is expected to be intensified in the future even more with the development of new transportation routes such as the Western Europe’Western China International Transit Corridor and the EU’s Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Central Asia.
However, even though EU-Kazakhstan relations have achieved remarkable progress in certain areas since the establishment of diplomatic relations, the EU cannot boast about their accomplishments in pursuing its value-based agenda in Kazakhstan.
While there exist a lot of potential reasons accounting for the limited impact of the EU strategy in this particular dimension, such as official resistance to democratic reforms, which aim at loosening the authoritarian reins over politics, or the impact of authoritarian neighbors, which on the contrary strengthened it through various policies, this paper intends to examine the efforts taken by the EU to promote democratic values in Kazakhstan and offer some suggestions on refocusing and reshaping it.
The European Union – Kazakhstan Relations
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan, as well as other newly independent countries, was required to choose a direction of its development, entering the period of transition. Despite specific legacies, which were left from the Soviet past, such as an absence of democratic governance, a painful transformation from planned to market economy, terrible environmental problems and mismanagement in natural resources, Kazakhstani government expressed its willingness to follow the path of democratization. The integration into global political and economic processes, the establishment and maintenance of bilateral relations with foreign countries, as well as active cooperation with international organizations has been regarded essential for the successful realization of domestic reforms.
In the early years of independence, the President of Kazakhstan clearly denoted that the ‘European direction’ is of great importance to the Republic, therefore ‘the potential of political dialogue between European Union and Kazakhstan should be used to its maximum’ (Danenov, Nadirov&Kovalev, 1995).
These days, the development of partnership relations with European Union countries continues to be one of the top priorities for Kazakhstan and a part of its multilateral foreign policy. Thus, in accordance with the Address of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N. A. Nazarbayev to the People of Kazakhstan dated to February 6, 2008, the State Programme ‘Path to Europe 2009-2011’ was developed. The main goals of the announced programme were consolidation of established long-term relations between Europe and Kazakhstan and enhancement of partnership and collaboration between the two actors in various spheres, such as technology, energy, transport, trade, humanitarian sphere and investment.
The importance of the European Union in Kazakhstan’s foreign policy was highlighted again in the new Foreign Policy Concept of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2014-2020, which was designed in line with the Strategy Kazakhstan-2050 Address to the People of the Republic of Kazakhstan given by the President N. A. Nazarbayev. According to the Concept, Kazakhstan aims to strengthen strategic partnerships with European countries and will ‘continue efforts to develop full-scale relations with the European Union – the largest economic, trade and investment partner of Kazakhstan’.
EU as well attaches much significance to its relations with Kazakhstan. Prior to 2006, one of the most significant political developments of the relations between Europe and Kazakhstan included, but were not limited to: provision of technical aid to Central Asian republics through the establishment of ‘the Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States’ program; adoption of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, implementation of Strategy Paper for Central Asia for Assistance 2002-2006 of the European Commission and the appointment of an EU Special Representative to Central Asia.
The EU’s Initial Approach: Locating Kazakhstan on the European Foreign Policy Map
In the early years of cooperation, the dialogue between the EU and Kazakhstan primarily focused on trade and investment. In the beginning of 1990s, the European Union adopted the ‘Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States’ programme (TACIS), which laid the foundation for the relations between the European Union and the Central Asian Republics.
Initially, the TACIS programme was designed to target the Soviet Union states and to help them in their transition to democratic market-oriented economies. However, after the collapse of the USSR, the programme re-defined its goal and went on to supporting the newly emerged independent states, including the five republics of Central Asia. Therefore, it can be fairly stated that the programme itself was not region-specific, and was rather aimed at the entire post-Soviet area. In hindsight, it seems to be fair to claim that the TACIS programme had a great number of flaws and faced a rather great number of challenges. Some argue that the programme was not efficient at all, and has not accomplished its objectives. Others emphasize that the programme itself was a quick response of the European Union to the changes that took place in its close neighborhood, therefore certain constrains were unavoidable. Later on, this programme was fully replaced by Development and Cooperation Instrument (DCI).
In 1995, the EU decided to go into bilateral Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Kazakhstan. The PCA, which came into force in 1999, was supposed to restore the old Trade and Cooperation Agreement of 1989 between EC and the USSR. The main emphasis was on the arrangements required for developing trade relations among EU and Kazakhstan, also there was a considerable focus made on expansion of the local market for new opportunities like goods and direct investment (FDI) from the EU. What is important, there was a significant emphasis on the high level discussion on various political issues, as well as an attempt to support democratic transition and encourage the development of the market economy in the newly emerged country.
The same year, the first strategy plans of EU toward the Central Asian region, including Kazakhstan was first reflected in EC ‘Towards a European Union Strategy for Relations with the Independent States of Central Asia’ report, which stated: ‘The EU has important interests in Central Asia. These are both geopolitical and economic. The development of the energy sector is particularly important to the Union, which is both a major potential consumer of energy products and a supplier of investment capital, services and equipment’. To secure its interests, ensuring stability became of the vital importance of the EU in the Central Asia. According to the report, four main goals have to be fulfilled: stimulate the development of democratic institutions; decrease the amount of conflict escalation in the region; foster the progress of economic reform and development; enhance the stability and security of EU’s economy. The strategy identifies certain steps that need to be addressed in three fields including economic collaboration and financial aid; new bilateral, political, diplomatic relationships.
Thus, by the early 2000s, the EU external action in regard to Central Asian region was based on two core components: PCA and TACIS.
Despite the fact that the report of 1995 is seen as an effort to create a concise policy vision toward Central Asian states, the policy itself lacks strategy and integration.
There was another attempt by the Commission to reinforce the approach reflected in the previous report presented in ‘Strategy Paper for Central Asia for Assistance 2002-2006’ of 2002. The Commission acknowledged that: ‘TACIS co-operation with Central Asia needs to be more focused in order to improve coherence and that a longer-term perspective is required to ensure continuity and to increase the impact and visibility of EC assistance.’
The mission of EU was widened: ‘In this context, the core objective of the new EC assistance strategy will be to promote the stability and security of the countries of Central Asia and to assist in their pursuit of sustainable economic development and poverty reduction. To achieve this objective, TACIS will work along three ‘Tracks’ whose common objectives will be to: promote security and conflict prevention; eliminate sources of political and social tension; improve the climate for trade and investment’.
The redoubling of TACIS financial resources for Central Asia from ’25 million to ’50 million was stated by the 2002-2006 strategy. The above mentioned ‘Tracks’ for TACIS support was comprised of ‘regional cooperation programme’, a ‘regional support programme’ and ‘poverty reduction scheme’.
Another important step toward enhancement of the relations between the EU and Central Asia was the appointment of the EU Special Representative to Central Asia. According to the Council joint action, the key points of the EUSR’s mandate were the following ones: ‘to encourage cooperation in the Central Asian region’; ‘to contribute to conflict resolution and prevention’; ‘to promote coordination and consistency of the EU actions in Central Asia’; and ‘to assist the Council in further developing a comprehensive policy towards Central Asia’.
The EU’s Central Asia Strategy 2007-2013: Upgrading the Relations
The year 2007 is often regarded as an important point in the development of the relations between EU and Kazakhstan since ‘The EU and Central Asia: Strategy for a New Partnership’ was adopted.
The geographical position of Central Asia (and Kazakhstan as part of it) is not the only advantage. Central Asia, which is often referred to as ‘the Heart of Eurasia’, ‘the bridge between East and West, North and South’, ‘a gateway to Europe for China, South and South East Asia’ (Bobokulov, 2005), faces certain security challenges such as the threat of violent extremism, drug and human trafficking, terrorism and organized crime. In addition to this, there exist regional specific issues, like the threat of regime instability, harsh impact of economic crisis and water mismanagement (Boonstra, 2009).
Due to the enlargement of the EU and the introduction of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), which brought Europe and Central Asia closer, as well as the availability of substantial energy resources in the region, which could potentially help the EU build its energy security (Boonstra, 2009), a broad range of security threats faced by the region (not only limited to those that were mentioned above) are perceived as a challenge by the EU.
Therefore, it was not at all surprising when in 2007, during the German Presidency, the European Union, which has an interest in ‘the establishment of stable, independent and prosperous countries adhering to democratic values and market economy principles in Central Asia , adopted a new
European Strategy toward Central Asia.
The Strategy gave the opportunity to understand the EU perspective on the challenges faced by the Central Asian states and the way in which the EU could join the force of regional countries to address these challenges (Kassenova, 2008). The Strategy signaled the EU’s ambition to initiate a fundamental shift in its relations with Central Asia through, for the first time, linking general political goals to concrete working prospects in the region (Kempe, 2007). In general the objectives of the proposed Strategy were twofold: to secure EU interests and to pursue value-based policy in the region. The value-based agenda was reflected in the Strategy by the announcement of the aim to strengthen democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, which was supposed to become the priority areas of cooperation. Aiming to balance between bilateral and regional approaches, the EU decided to implement the Strategy through several tools (e.g. PCA, the EC Regional Assistance Strategy Paper 2007-2013, Indicative Programmes, various thematic assistance programmes, like the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights).
Even though the EU Central Asian Strategy is considered to be the corner stone of the relations between the EU and the Central Asian States, nowadays many contemporary experts say that ‘the EU Central Asia Strategy has fallen short of its aims'(Melvin, 2012). Implementation efforts and results concerning promotion of democratic values, good governance and rule of law have been quite unimpressive (Hoffmann, 2010).
Problem description: Promoting Values or/and Pursuing Economic Interests?
The first comprehensive assessment of the EU Strategy implementation was released in June 2008, titled ‘Joint Progress Report by the Council and the European Commission to the European Council on the implementation of the EU Central Asia Strategy’.
Overall, the Strategy implementation was assessed positively, noting that achieved progress ‘has been encouraging.’ The report mentioned ‘a new quality cooperation that has been evolved’ on bilateral and regional levels characterized by the intensification of high-level political dialogues and bilateral consultations, development of several regional initiatives and praised the agreement of all Central Asian countries ‘to engage in or continue a structured Human Rights Dialogue with the EU’.
An emphasis in the report was put on the fact that ‘human rights issues were systematically raised in all the political meetings’. It was also stressed that democratization, human rights protection, rule of law and good governance strengthens political stability and economic development of Central Asian countries, therefore, the EC supported it through various assistance projects (e.g. European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), the Non’State Actors Programme, as well as the Institution Building Partnership Programme (IBPP)).
The next progress report on the EU Strategy implementation was published in 2010. The report provides an overview of the achieved results, such as an increased involvement of the EU in the region, continuous support of institutional development, and conducting meetings with governmental officials. However, the evaluation report also identified some key areas for improvements: democracy promotion, rule of law, human rights, water and energy, coordination and more complex approach to Central Asian and Afghanistan policies.
Once again, the EU declared its commitment to keep on promoting its policy objectives outlined in the Strategy in the 2012 Implementation Review report. It was acknowledged that ‘much has been achieved’, despite a number of policy implementation obstacles, therefore, the Strategy was approved to stay valid with a ‘need for improvement in certain parts’. It was admitted that the overall developments in the region with regard to human rights protection and democratization ‘have not been as good as hoped for’ and that EU needs ‘to target its assistance better and focus its efforts’, ‘to make the bilateral human rights dialogues more result-oriented’ and continue ‘encourage the development of national democratic reform agendas’.
However, despite the encouragement of self-assessments made by the EU, analysts were more skeptical of the achieved results. According to various expert-based evaluations, despite billions spent each year in support of the Strategy, the gains towards democracy have been limited. Numerous reports noted that the EU Strategy proved to be ‘a clear failure at reversing the deterioration in the human rights and democracy situation in Central Asia’ (Melvin, 2007).
The Human Rights Dialogues (HRDs), which were supposed to bring about significant improvements in the human rights and strengthened the democratic credentials, often turned into ‘a painstaking annual obligation’ (Boonstra, 2013). HRDs are used by the Central Asian governments to assure the international community that they would keep its commitments to uphold human rights but were not followed up by specific actions to secure significant improvements. The EU representatives and governmental officials as well often prefer not to express concerns associated with human rights situation outside the HRD platform. These practices result in ‘severe policy inconsistencies within the EU and undermines its credibility’ (Axyonova, 2011).
Others also argue that even unintentional agreement to accept the ‘local rules’ of the game, assist local regimes in authoritarian consolidation (Cooley, 2012). Proponents of this view claim that the continuation of applying current approach without any modifications would result in ‘counterproductive effect’, thus making Central Asia stay ‘far from any genuine positive democratic dynamic’ (Bigo& Hale, 2013).
In addition, instead of improving the democratic practices in Central Asian countries, the EU’s massive spending budget has not impacted the situation significantly. In an attempt to promote its values and interests, the EU appropriated funding for development and humanitarian assistance to Central Asia, worth more than EUR 2.1 billion for the period of its engagement in the region. From 2007 to 2012, EUR 435 million were allocated in development aid to Central Asian countries.
In line with the EU-Central Asia Strategy, three spending priorities were identified in the Commission’s Regional Strategy Paper, including democracy promotion, human rights protection, rule of law and good governance among others two. 20-25% of the total budget was appropriated for targeting this particular objective.
During 2007-2012 periods, Kazakhstan received roughly 62.71 million from the EU through the DCI, the NSA-LA thematic programmes, and the EIHRD (Tsertsvadze&Boonstra, 2013).
Even though, the EU constantly urged the Central Asian partner countries to comply with the international standards of democracy, governance, rule of law and human rights and provide substantial support in terms of funding, its efforts barely contribute to the visibility and impact on the EU actions in Central Asia.
Given the fact that Council came to the conclusion that the Strategy should stay in force, it is the time for the EU to upgrade its approach in order to better deal with particular challenges it faced while striving to promote democracy and human rights in the Central Asian countries.
Policy options for the EU or Why the values-based component should not be neglected?
There is a great deal of policy recommendations made by leading analysts, aiming to solve the puzzle of how to democratize Central Asia.
Some experts have pointed out that the EU should focus more on pursuing its interest-based agenda, since a greater emphasis on sensitive issues such as rule of law, democracy and human rights could hinder EU’s attempts to diversify its energy supplies and decrease chances to lessen its dependence on Russia.
However, this approach neglects the fact that the EU external action policies stem from the deep normative orientation of the European development and diplomacy model.
The creation of the Union was aimed at European post-war identity reconstruction and peacekeeping processes after experiencing the damages and destruction from both, World War I and World War II. Having a unique political structure, the EU is based on collective values and is being restricted to act in line with them. The collective commitments of EU member states to particular norms are reflected in numerous treaties and European political institutions, which are founded on the universal principles. (Art 6, Treaty on European Union). Common values which represent the EU governance and constitute its normative foundation are the following: peace, liberty, democratic values, and rule of law, human rights, social harmony, sustainable development, tolerance, and just government.
The first document that dealt with the principles of social justice, democratic ideals and value of human rights and freedoms, which later became the ideological foundation of the EU’s external policy was the Copenhagen Declaration on the European Identity, adopted in 1973 by the nine member states of the European community. Since that time, it has been historically proven that the European Union is committed to follow the so-called universal norms, as well as to promote them worldwide.
The efforts to promote these values, which are embedded in the very nature and structure of the European political institutions, are essential for the EU, if it wants to maintain its capacity to influence the rest of the world. It is simple because of the very nature of the European Union as a political body and a community of laws, as well as its history, the EU will face difficulties with being effective in acting any other way than to follow the normative orientation.
This assumption can be justified by the fact that nations, which previously had numerous ethnic and political conflicts and wars among each other, are now supposed to integrate under the EU flag. Therefore, setting common norms, values and standards that is recognized within the Union and outside of it plays a crucial role in creating a new common European identity.
‘Europe is not so much a geographical concept’ for those outside of it, but ‘an idea representing honesty, decency and stability’. ‘It is essential for Europe to strengthen its values-based power, regardless of the material interests, since ‘the moment Europe loses its aura of ‘honesty, decency and prosperity’ is the moment Europe loses everything’ (Dimitrov, 2014).
Therefore, while acknowledging that the EU frequently trades its values-based objectives in favor of its energy interests, a consensus between interests and values should be found.
How EU can fit its self-image while pursuing its agendas in Kazakhstan?
While democracy promotion policies from outside have inevitably associated with the United States of America, the European Union has also proved oneself as a leading player in this field.’The development and consolidation of democracy’ has become a flagship of the EU’s foreign policy with the Treaty of Maastricht (1992). It is declared that ‘the role of the EU’s foreign and security policy is to preserve peace and strengthen international security; to promote international cooperation; and to develop and consolidate democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms [‘]’. The EU policy agenda that aims to ‘promote democratic transitions and to consolidate extant democracies that were threatened with authoritarian reversals’ has been backed up by significant human and financial resources.
Taking into account the fact that there is no single recipe for democratization and the practice shows that in a lot of cases successful transformations of political systems were ‘fortuitous by-products’ of different processes, the EU has applied various approaches in an attempt to democratize Kazakhstan during the past two decades. However, up to now, none of the efforts have been successful and the EU is forced to go back to the drawing board.
A number of policy and general recommendations on how to address challenges the EU faces in pursuing its values-based agenda in Kazakhstan, have been given to policy makers and public authorities. In general, these recommendations can be classified into three main groups (top-down approach group, bottom-up approach group and horizontal approach group).
Recommendations that fall in the first group (top-down strategy), belong to the leverage model of democracy promotion. According to it, leverage is defined as the target government’s vulnerability toward external attempts to introduce democratic changes in that country. In order to exert its influence and push for political change, an external actor uses a wide range ofways, since the degree of external leverage varies from positive conditionality, diplomacy to punitive sanctions and force.
Traditionally, having an experience of World War II under its belt and lessons learnt from it, and striving for peace and stability in their neighborhood, European Union preferred to apply a more nonviolent incentives-based method in promoting democracy in neighboring ‘EU candidate’ countries. This approach implied economic and political incentives in return for democratic changes. This scheme started to work with an establishment of certain structural settings (institutions) which held privileges and possibility of membership within the EU through its enlargement to candidates which had met certain requirements. The conditionality of EU membership has resulted in an unprecedented influence of an international institution on the domestic policy choices of aspiring member states. Inspired by achieved results, the EU decided to induce democratic reforms in Kazakhstan through conditionality in different forms. Conditionality entails the linking of ‘perceived benefits for another state (such as aid, trade concessions, cooperation agreements, political contacts, social and symbolic rewards), to the fulfillment of conditions relating to the protection of human rights and the advancement of democratic principles.’ (Smith, 1998) Negative conditionality, or sanctions, arepenalties imposed on a country that does not resect the required democratic conditions, such as the suspension of economic assistance or the ‘freezing’ of bilateral relations. (Elena Baracani).
Initially, the EU attempted to encourage Kazakhstan to improve its human rights records and respect for democratic principles by givingin advance EU recognition and praise in the form of support of Kazakhstan’s candidacy for OSCE chairmanship.
Indeed, it was a matter of prestige for Kazakhstan since no other country in Eurasia and in the whole former Soviet Union was elected for this post prior to Kazakhstan. Even though, it ‘was a highly controversial choice for the OSCE chairmanship’ , the willingness of Kazakhstan’s government to speak human rights language at that time dispersed the doubts regarding the correctness of the taken decision. At the Ministerial Meeting in Madrid in 2007, when Kazakhstan’s bid for chairmanship was successfully approved by a consensus of 56 OSCE member states, the former Kazak Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marat Tazhin made pledges for further democratic development of the country, which were later on called as Kazakhstan’s ‘Madrid Commitments’.
However, the western world realized very soon that its ‘optimism that the OSCE chairmanship will help Kazakhstan on the democratic path’ (JanezLenarcic, 2009) was rather premature.
In an attempt to foster democratic changes in Kazakhstan, the EU has also made an extensive use of tangible incentives. Democracy assistance comprises ‘all aid for which the primary purpose, not the secondary or indirect purpose, is to foster democracy in the recipient country’. It is both economic and technical: ‘The provision of advice and instruction, training programs, equipment and other forms of material support to institutional capacity building are typical examples, as are financial subventions to pro-democracy bodies and subsidies to cover the costs of certain democratizing processes’.
Alternative strategy proposed to the EU when dealing with Kazakhstan, suggests taking ‘a fair but critical stance towards current regimes'(in Central Asia) in order to ‘establish a genuine values-based approach’ (Boonstra, 2013).
On top of that, even though, the EU has historically been in favor of diplomacy and negotiations rather than coercion and force, some experts urge the EU politicians ‘to muster the political will to impose policy consequences if reform expectations are not met’. They argue that ‘in case of Kazakhstan, improvements should be conditions for enhanced relations’ (Goldston, 2012).
Though it would be unwisely to underestimate ‘sticks Europe has in the region’, (Kassenova, 2008)the existence of certain constraints should be acknowledged.
Firstly, the effectiveness of the EU punitive approach and its consequences for Kazakhstan is mitigated by the presence of other international actors like Russia or China. Both countries are willing to expand and deepen cooperation with Kazakhstan, without paying any attention to democratic records.
Secondly, the EU itself was inconsistent in its leverage use. For years, the EU demanded for Kazakhstan to improve the situation with human rights and freedoms and urged for further democratization. From time to time, the EU has tried to make partnership conditional on progress of political reform, but it does not bring about noticeable results. For instance, the European Parliament’s report of November 2012, took a tough stance on human rights in Kazakhstan, making cooperation depend on respect for freedom of expression. But this later on was undermined by the EU High Representative’s visit the country the same month.
The following year, the European Parliament adopted a resolution ‘strongly’ criticizing Kazakhstan for failure to respect political, media and religious freedoms. The negotiations on an enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement were ‘deadlocked due to mounting disagreements on political reform’ in the country in October 2013. Meanwhile, one year late, Kazakhstan concluded the final talks on the previously mentioned ‘second-generation’ agreement with the EU, yet at the same time has successfully joined the Eurasian Economic Union with Russia and Belarus.
Thirdly, Kazakhstan knows that it is not only the Kazakhstan, which is interested in the EU. The EU, which has certain interests it wishes to pursue in the Central Asian region, also would prefer cooperation to non-cooperation.
Thus, by introducing procedural, not substantive democracy, Kazakh officials keep calling on the EU to put more attention to the economic side of the partnership, explaining that more time is required for Kazakhstan to become a truly genuine democracy.

‘We do hear criticisms. We do not feel absolutely unhappy about those criticisms. We are not today a Jeffersonian democracy’, but it is ‘our ultimate destination’ (Watt, 2013).

Therefore, it can be concluded that so far none of the leverage model strategies lead to any significant progress on achieving the EU’s values-based agenda in Kazakhstan. Taking into account various factors, the top-down approach to democracy promotion which was effective rather effective before, cannot be applied to the full extent to non-candidate countries, like Kazakhstan.
The top-down approach addresses the governments of a target country and does not contribute to the spread out of a civic culture.

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