DUSHANBE, January 27, 2012, Asia-Plus -- Mr. Dirk Meganck, Director for Asia, Central Asia and Pacific, European Commission General Directorate for Cooperation and Development led a mission in Dushanbe from January 23 to January 26 to review development co-operation between the EU and Tajikistan and explore priorities for enhanced EU cooperation with Tajikistan for the new multi-annual financial framework, 2014 -2020, according to European Union Delegation to Tajikistan.

Director Meganck, accompanied by representatives of the EU Delegation to Tajikistan had the opportunity to meet high-ranking government officials, including Mr. Davlatov, First Deputy Prime Minister, EU Strategy National Coordinator; Mr. Alimardon, Deputy Prime Minister; Mr. Khudoyorov, Chairman of President''s Executive Office; Minister of Finance Mr. Najmiddinov, Minister of Health Mr. Salimov, Minister of Labor and Social Protection Mr. Mahmadaminov,  Minister of Energy and Industry Mr. Gul, Minister of Land Reclamation and Water Resources Mr. Bobokalonov, and First Deputy Commander of Tajik Border Guards Major-General Fayzulloyev.

The EU side reportedly briefed Tajik counterparts on the current and upcoming EU assistance programs provided to Tajikistan and discussed perspectives of the EU development cooperation assistance for the period 2014 -2020 and implications for Tajikistan.  Topics of discussions covered macroeconomic stability, developments in the areas of health, social protection, public finance management, water and energy.

Furthermore, Mr. Meganck presented the most recent EU programs launched or expected to be launched in 2012 – 2013 in Tajikistan: Human Support Development Program for €26 million signed with the Tajik Government in August 2011, a new Project for Enhanced Competitiveness of Tajik Agribusiness for €16 million to be signed by the end of the first quarter 2012 and upcoming Public Finance Management Reform Support for €8 million.

A new innovative EU instrument – Investment Facility for Central Asia (IFCA) has been made available for Central Asia.  Under this new instrument the EU will fund projects in Tajikistan in the energy, water and environment sectors.  The contract for the first project (€21 million Sughd region Energy Loss Reduction Project) has already been signed with a contribution of €7 million from the European Union.

The European Union is made up of 27 Member States who have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies.  Together, during a period of enlargement of 50 years, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms.  The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders.  To this end the EU is active in Tajikistan since 1992 and provides approximately €25 million annually in development assistance.