Central Asia has great potential, Dr. Neil Collins
Dr. Neil Collins, professor of Political Science at Nazarbayev University delivered speech on project: European Cultural Diplomacy: diaspora relations with Kazakhstan within the framework of session “Ethnosocial processes and ethnocultural dialogue in Kazakhstan and Central Asia” held today at Congress Centre, Astana.
‘The task was to see how the work is built in Europe, to identify the situation in the European Union, in the member states. We are reviewing our positions at the global and international levels now. There are important events between Europe and Kazakhstan, this is the 25th anniversary of the establishment of relations between the countries. The key point I should mention is that Europe should pay great attention to Central Asia, because there is great potential here. The history of Central Asia and the European Union is peaceful, not colonial. This is a good time to consider the processes between these regions. We wanted to see how Europe was represented here. I considered the social network pages of the Embassies of European States in Astana, how Europe appears in the Kazakh-language and Russian-language press, how finance is used in scientific circles. Interestingly, we examined how the European Diaspora in Kazakhstan functions as a mechanism of cultural diplomacy’, Dr. Neil Collins said.
Dr. Neil Collins mentioned that European Diasporas in Kazakhstan have criterias for being ‘Valued’, those are: complex programme of ethnic revival, intergovernmental commissions, branches of ethnoc-cultural associations, active position in political, social and economical issues, participation at World Congress of Diasporas, acting as ‘Cultural Ambassadors’, education, trips abroad for people, changing status of diaspora, cultural diplomacy without generating cultural resistance.
The following recommendations were given after the speech: recognize wide variety of people in diaspora and contribution they have been making in preserving and promoting culture and identity, avoid the ‘folklorisation’ phenomena; send update studying literature frequently, establish closer links with non-state organizations in countries of origin, set up particular policy of establish intergovernmental commission that provides agenda for bilateral cooperation, participate in the events organized by the ethnocultral centres, consult with diaspora on potential areas of collaboration with hostland, facilitate; develop two-way diaspora engagement, provide scholarship opportunities in both hostland and homeland, encourage family reunions.