Study #15

Central Asia and the Caucasus

Central Asia is increasingly becoming a focus region for matters of geopolitics, security and energy due to its energy resources and China’s new Silk Road. The local deposits of oil and gas have proven to be both an advantage and a disadvantage for the Central Asian states. They are strengthening the positions of authoritarian elites in the regional fossil economies and resulting in national economies that react sensitively to price fluctuations in the oil and gas markets and depend on external investments. The Caucasus can similarly be regarded as a transit area for energy, raw materials and goods as well as a s ­ mouldering trouble spot. After highlighting the political, economic and security situations, the study examines how the visibility and influence of the EU can be increased in the regions.