The Council of the European Union has appointed Ambassador Terhi Hakala to serve as the European Union (EU) Special Representative (EUSR) for Central Asia, starting on July 1, 2021.

The EUSRs work under the authority of High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Josep Borrell and support his work in the implementation of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).

The EUSRs play a central role in the development of the common EU policy and in efforts to make the Union a more effective actor.

In the duties of the EUSR for Central Asia, the focus is on the EU’s continued and comprehensive cooperation with countries in the region.  The cooperation covers a broad range of matters in the following sectors: security, the rule of law, environment, water, climate change, education, and human rights with an emphasis on the position of women. 

In line with the European Union Strategy for Central Asia, it is also important to promote the development of the business environment and to stimulate investments as well as to foster sustainable connectivity.

The importance of the Strategy for Central Asia is growing also because of neighboring Afghanistan.

“In Central Asia, the EU is a welcome and balancing partner to help tackle the challenges of the region. The EU has many tools that can be used to promote recovery from the global pandemic. The mandate of the EUSR for Central Asia emphasizes the need to strengthen regional cooperation and stability in collaboration with the countries of the region and other international actors.  In the coming years, this will be even more important than before,” Hakala notes.

Terhi Hakala had previously worked, for example, as Head of Finland’s Permanent Mission in Geneva; Director General of the Department for Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs; Ambassador to India; Head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Mission to Georgia; and Roving Ambassador to the South Caucasus. At present, Hakala is Ambassador for Hybrid Threats in the Political Department of the Foreign Ministry of Finland.