Lowering the Bar

by Nathan Hamm on 4/20/2007

It seems more an more likely, the more one reads about it, that EU policy toward Uzbekistan will not be changing much. Interesting though is how other members are reacting to Germany’s attempts to lower the bar for Uzbekistan to come back into the light.

A regular human rights dialogue and an international inquiry into the events in Andijon are the two key EU conditions for lifting sanctions. Some member states in Brussels now suspect that in the interest of the success of its broader Central Asian strategy, Germany may be attempting to smooth Uzbekistan’s path to meeting the two conditions.

Some members are frustrated with Germany trying to jump the gun and move things forward with Uzbekistan before EU member states can decide how they would like to proceed as a whole. The proposed framework for a human rights dialogue is a meaningless joke, Uzbekistan has shown no signs that it really wants to discuss Andijon with outsiders, and the best any EU members can say about the meetings that have taken place is that they’re satisfied that they took place.

But fret not, Uzbekistan. For if Germany’s efforts fail to do much good by the time its presidency expires, there’s always the OSCE to try to polish your image.

Have a relationship or do not, but why bother with all the fantasies about Uzbekistan’s progress?


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This post was written by...

– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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