The European Union has set out a new vision for how it can help Afghanistan address its challenges and bring positive changes for the Afghan people. The country located in southwestern Asia has been in recent years struggling to boost its socio-economic development amidst the delicate security situation. The EU is seeking to implement much-needed reforms that are indispensable to strengthen the country’s economy.
Federica Mogherini, the head of European diplomacy, commented that the EU would continue supporting Afghanistan in its reform process and democratic path towards rule of law and human rights. She emphasized that this work must be led by Afghans and owned by Afghans, although the active support of the international community is crucial. Neven Mimica, the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, added that “Afghanistan is not alone. With the EU’s support, more Afghan women are actively participating in the country’s politics. Access to health care has increased, and farmers are better supported to improve agricultural production than before.” He also stressed that the EU will “renew its engagement and focus on supporting good governance and the justice sector, creating sustainable growth and jobs, and ensuring basic social services for the Afghan people.”
Brussels is going to focus on building peace, stability and regional security by promoting an inclusive Afghan-led Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process leading to a peace settlement. Building the capacity of the Afghan government to reach out to all those in sincere negotiations on peace as well as supporting the civilian aspects of security sector reform are the main focus areas. When it comes to building a democratic society, the EU is mostly focused on Afghanistan’s electoral system and electoral process while also supporting independent electoral bodies designed to assist with drafting electoral legislation and regulations. Brussels also works with Kabul to address human rights concerns including respect for minorities, child protection and fights against impunity. Brussels is also helping Afghanistan implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
A special chapter of the mutual strategy is dedicated to migration. Both sides work together to address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement and help create an environment that offers the Afghan people an alternative to migration also through the sustainable reintegration of those returned from the EU and non-EU countries through a community-based approach. An important aspect of the EU strategy in Afghanistan is also women’s empowerment.