The EU and Turkmenistan have been partners since country's independence, sharing a dialogue, which has continually expanded and consolidated. A Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Turkmenistan has been signed in May 1998 and is under ratification by the EU Member States and the European Parliament. The Interim Trade Agreement was signed in November 1998. In May 2008 a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of energy between the EU and Turkmenistan was signed establishing the basis for enhanced cooperation. Since 2004, after the resuming of its Joint Committee meetings the EU and Turkmenistan have strengthened their bilateral cooperation. A new start of cooperation as strategic partners was done during the President Berdymuhamedov's visit to Brussels in 2007, where he held meetings with the high-ranking EU officials. Just 5 months after President Berdymuhamedov's visit to Brussels, the European Commission opened Europa House in Ashgabat in April 2008, which is the technical support office for the EU initiatives in Turkmenistan. The visit of Jose Emanual Barroso, President of the European Commission to Turkmenistan in January 2011 marked another milestone in EU-Turkmen relations. Turkmenistan participates in several EU regional programmes. In addition, the EU supports Turkmenistan by national level programmes. For more information please visit EU-Turkmenistan page.
On 10th of April 2008, the official opening ceremony of Europa House was held with the participation of Mrs. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, EU Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Mr. Pierre Morel, EU Special Representative for Central Asia and Mr. Rashid Meredov, Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan.More