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The European Union, Kazakhstan and the 2010 OSCE Chairmanship

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Kazakhstan's OSCE Chairmanship in 2010 represents a considerable opportunity for the Organisation. While Kazakhstan's Chairmanship cannot 'save' the OSCE from its current problems, it could help set a new direction for the Organisation and inject a degree of movement at time of growing paralysis. This will be a tall order which Kazakhstan alone will be unable to achieve. To make the most of opportunity presented in 2010, the countries of the European Union need to work closely with Astana to prepare the country for the Chairmanship and also to help to develop ways forward for the organisation. Relations between Astana and Brussels are built on a shared interest in diversifying energy export routes from Kazakhstan, growing business ties, a common caution about the role of Russia in Eurasia and on Kazakhstan's commitment to promoting European forms of development in the country. The EU should place the 2010 Chairmanship within the context of this growing relationship, linking Kazakhstan's domestic and international initiatives of the year to the longer term ambition of the country to build a deeper relationship to Europe as a means to achieve a European form of modernisation.


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