On July 17, 2021, at the Center for Economic Research and Reforms (CERR), the director of the Center, Obid Khakimov, met with the Managing Director of the European Neighbourhood Council (ENC) Samuel Doveri Westerby.
During the conversation, an exchange of views took place on the prospects for establishing bilateral cooperation between CERR and ENC, as well as possible topics for mutual research.
Initially, Obid Khakimov presented the main goals and objectives of the CERR, research areas and the Government Accelerators of socio-economic reforms located at the Center.
Samuel Westerby said that ENC is located in Brussels and is an independent think tank that conducts research and implements projects related to the strengthening of the common European Neighbourhood Policy, enlargement policy and the promotion of the Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union.
In particular, ENC conducts research and prepares reports for the European Council and the European Parliament on various aspects of politics and security related to the countries of Central Asia and the Middle East, as well as Turkey.
Since its inception in 2016, ENC has forged partnerships with European non-governmental and governmental organizations and collaborates with experts on issues related to the EU's foreign and security policy, ranging from migration, development, democracy and trade.
The representative expressed ENC's interest in establishing cooperation with CERR and proposed topics for joint research, in particular, the acceptance of Uzbekistan as a beneficiary of GPS+ under the unilateral Generalised Scheme of Preferences(GPS). In addition, ENC is also interested in the topic related to the upcoming presidential elections in Uzbekistan.
Samuel Westerbay noted the recent changes and reforms implemented in Uzbekistan to improve the public administration, foreign policy, international relations are quite important. At the same time, he suggested considering the participation of representatives of Uzbekistan in the training programs and scholarships allocated under the special program of the European Union for the training of civil servants and business representatives.
Samuel Westerby said that the European Union is extremely interested in the use of renewable energy sources and the development of a "green economy". Moreover, he noted that Uzbekistan has great opportunities for the use of solar energy and in the next 5 years a sustainable and "green economy" will be able to play an important role in the country's economy, as well as in achieving sustainable development goals.
The managing director of ENC also inquired about the state and prospects for the development of cooperation between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, taking into account the changes in the internal political situation there.
Following the meeting, a preliminary agreement was reached on establishing close cooperation between the two research centers.
Public Relations Service of the CERR