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Analysis: Central Asian countries need to remain focused on reforms despite new security threats

Analysis: Central Asian countries need to remain focused on reforms despite new security threats

The countries of Central Asia are at an important crossroads. The events in Afghanistan are not going to make their choices either more simple or more easy. Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have taken very important steps in the last few years on the path to reform. It is important that they stay the course, and it is important for the EU and other western countries to help them in this task. If possible this should be done without adversarial engagement with either Russia or China, even though are likely to put obstacles in the way. Central Asia does not need another "great game". It needs support so it can develop and evolve for the benefit of its people, and so that the radical elements that have been successful in Afghanistan can be stopped in their stride. 
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Commentary
Commentary:  State-building cannot be imposed from outside; the EU and others must learn lessons from Afghanistan

Commentary: State-building cannot be imposed from outside; the EU and others must learn lessons from Afghanistan

A state cannot be built from outside, with a foreign army standing on top of it to supervise the process, argues Dennis Sammut in this commentary. As the EU expands its global ambitions, it must be aware of the risks of "mission creep" and make sure the mistakes in Afghanistan are not repeated.
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Opinion
Opinion: The South Caucasus needs more EU, less Russia, and a better life for all the people of the region

Opinion: The South Caucasus needs more EU, less Russia, and a better life for all the people of the region

The European Union has indicated it is re-enforcing its engagement with the South Caucasus, including on the thorny issues of conflict resolution. Dennis Sammut argues in this op-ed that this is timely and necessary. The region needs more EU, less Russia and prospects for a better quality of life for all its people. For this to happen the EU needs to be more strategic in its approach to the region and there is no longer place for hesitation and ambiguity, he argues.
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Opinion
Kazakhstan, Central Asia's giant, is stirring and the Russians are not amused

Kazakhstan, Central Asia's giant, is stirring and the Russians are not amused

Kazakhstan is exploring its options. The government has embarked on a series of reforms, as yet mainly in the economic sphere, although reforms in the governance sector are also inevitable. They include slimming down the bloated state bureaucracy and also slowly re-calibrating Kazakh foreign policy to make it less dependant on Russia. The Russians are not amused, says Dennis Sammut in this op-ed
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Opinion
Opinion: The elusive quest for peace in the Caucasus

Opinion: The elusive quest for peace in the Caucasus

Peace in the Caucasus for the last three decades has been elusive, and appears to remain so. Lulls between fighting sometimes offer some respite from the violence, but real peace remains absent. It is now needed more than ever, but the "Pax Putin" is not the solution, argues Dennis Sammut in this op-ed
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Opinion
New Year Message from the Managing Editor of commonspace.eu

New Year Message from the Managing Editor of commonspace.eu

We live in a world where disinformation has become widespread, and where open societies find themselves vulnerable to malicious attacks from dark forces wrapped in religious bigotry or false nationalism. Disinformation and Radicalisation have now become the biggest enemies of the values we cherish and our way of life. European civil society and think tank communities need to step up in the face of the current challenges.