Turkmenistan offers European Union to further expand cooperation in the primary, secondary and higher education spheres and to advance academic exchanges between European and Central Asian universities. The offer was conveyed at the eighteenth meeting of the Turkmenistan-European Union Joint Committee on 26 February 2019 in Brussels.
The Joint Committee discussed macroeconomic situation, bilateral trade and the ongoing reforms in Turkmenistan with particular focus on investments, trade, transport, energy, economic and financial cooperation, education and vocational training, as well as the rule of law and human rights. The fight against terrorism and drug trafficking was also on the agenda of the meeting.
The EU representatives informed the delegation of Turkmenistan about the preparations for the new EU Strategy on Central Asia. The EU also provided information on the upcoming set of regional programs worth over €88 million that will support private sector, trade and investment in the region.
It was earlier reported that the European Union would consider expanding Erasmus+, the European Commission's Program for education, training, youth and sport for the period 2014–2020, taking the requirements of Central Asian countries into account. The program is currently open to students, teachers, lecturers, youth workers and people working in grassroots' sport.
In cooperation with the EU, Turkmenistan currently implements 10 national and regional projects in education, science, energy, agriculture, legal reforms, private sector and environmental protection.
The Brussels meeting was chaired by Luc Devigne, Director for Russia, Eastern Partnership, Central Asia, Regional Cooperation and OSCE countries of the European External Action Service, as the head of the EU delegation.