European Union is one of the main political and economic partners of Kazakhstan.
February 2, 1993 – Diplomatic relations were established between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the European Union (EU).
December 1993 – Republic of Kazakhstan oppened office in Brussels.
November 1994 – European Commission (EC) opened office in Almaty.
June 8, 2012 – Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Kazakhstan Almas Hamzayev was appointed to the Kingdom of Belgium.
Since September 8, 2015 –Traian Hristeais Head of Delegation of the European Union in the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Chronology of visits
President of Kazakhstan visited Brussels 7 times (February 1993, June 2000, November 2002, December 2006, April and October 2010, October 2014) and conducted negotiations with the EU leadership.
December 1-2, 2010 –President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy visit Kazakhstan for the first time, where he took part in the OSCE Summit in Astana.
May 2, 2012 – Prime Minister Karim Massimov met President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso and EU Commissioner on Trade Karel De Guchtin Brussels.
June 2-3,2013 –first official visit of President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso to Kazakhstan.
The legal basis of relations between Kazakhstan and EU is Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA)1999. On 21 December 2015 Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement was signed in Astana. The new document will contribute to further development of cooperation between the Kazakhstan and the EU.
Kazakhstan and EU achieved high volume of trade-economic relations. The EU is major trade and investment partner of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan's trade with EU takes more than half of general volume of foreign trade. 49% of foreign capital into economy of Kazakhstan comes from EU states. Kazakhstan's foreign trade turnover with EU countries in 2015 amounted 31 billion US dollars. In January-March 2015 - 8,5bln. US dollars (import – 3.8 billion USD, export –24.3 billionUSD).
From 2005 till September 2015 the inflow of direct investment from the EU to Kazakhstan's economy amounted to about 107,4 billion USD. Main investors – Netherlands, United Kingdom, Italy and France.
During the years of independence, Kazakhstan has established itself as a reliable and responsible energy partner of the EU. Kazakhstan is third largest supplier of energy to Europe among not member states of OPEC– after Russia and Norway. In some European countries the share of supply of Kazakh oil is high enough. Thus, in Austria it is 25%, Romania - 30%. Kazakhstan is fourth energy supplier to Germany. Kazakhstan is interested in further strengthening of strategic energy dialogue with EU, the legal basis of which is a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of energy and an Agreement on cooperation in the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
Taking into account growth of mutual trips of citizens of Kazakhstan and EU Kazakhstan cooperates with the EU in frame of visa regime facilitation. In this regard, parties work on the conclusion of agreements on exemption of owners of diplomatic and service passports from visa requirements, as well as on simplification of procedures for issuing visas for certain categories of citizens of Kazakhstan and the EU. Regular consultations of parties are held on this issue.
There also new formats of cooperation in different sectors involving detailed consultations on subjects of mutual interest (energy, transport, security, migration, human rights etc.).
Once a year meetings of Parliamentary Cooperation Committee are held (European Parliament – Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan). In September 2015 in Astana13th meeting of the EU-Kazakhstan Parliamentary Cooperation Committee was held.
Key role in the institutional system of cooperation between Kazakhstan and the EU plays annual meeting of the Cooperation Council. In March 2015 14th meeting of the Cooperation Council was held in Brussels. In order to implement decisions taken by Cooperation Councilthere is alsoCooperation Committee and two subcommittees: for trade, investments, transport and energy; and for justice and the rule of law.
In regional terms, parties cooperate within the framework of the EU Strategy for Central Asia (introduced in 2007). Also annual dialogue in the format of "European Union - Central Asia" at the level of Foreign Ministersinstalled.It held eight meetings: 2007 – Astana, 2008 – Ashgabat, 2009 – Dushanbe, 2010 – Brussels, 2011 – Tashkent, 2012 – Bishkek, 2013 – Brussels, 2015 – Astana.
Kazakhstan has also supported initiative of the EU on launching of High-level dialogue onsecurity issuesbetween the EU and Central Asia. Second meeting of the Dialogue was held on March 11, 2015 in Dushanbe.
In October 2014 the working visit of President NursultanNazarbayev to Brussels contributed to the expansion and deepening of partnership between Kazakhstan and the European Union as well as reaffirmed mutual interest in developing multi-level relationships.
Intensive political dialogue between Kazakhstan and the EU is expected in 2015-2016 as part of practical implementation of reached agreements.