The Republic of Kazakhstan holds advantageous geopolitical position because it is located in intersection of two key continents — Europe and Asia. Existence of significant stocks of natural resources and a large territory allows Kazakhstan to be an important partner in economy and policy, and more than twenty years our republic takes a definite place on the international scene.
The declaration «About the State Sovereignty» adopted on October 25, 1990 by the Supreme Council of Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic had impact on formation of independent foreign policy of Kazakhstan. In this historical document was proclaimed: «Kazakh SSR has rights to act as an independent subject of international relations, to determine foreign policy in own interests, to exchange diplomatic agencies and consulates, to participate in activity of the international organizations».
The foreign policy is the kind of policy governing the relations of the state with other countries and nations, which provide realization of requirements on the international scene. The foreign policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan is based on the principles of multi-vector, balance, a pragmatism, mutual benefit, firm upholding of national interests of the country .
Since gaining independence on 16 December 1991, Kazakhstan was aimed to establish friendly and mutually beneficial relations. Nowadays diplomatic relations are established with almost all countries of the world, one of the priority directions of the foreign policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan is the cooperation with the European Union. European Union — economic and political union of 28 European states. The European Union passed a long stage of the development, and now is the full-fledged subject of international law. With this integration union the Republic of Kazakhstan pursues two-level policy — with the union in general and with each state separately. In this case, both levels complement each other that finds reflection in the signed agreements and the realized projects.
Diplomatic relations between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the European Union (EU) were established on February 2, 1993 . Given fact showed that both parties seek for adjustment of political and economic cooperation.
The document on which the partnership of the European Union and Kazakhstan is based, is the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) which was signed in 1995 and came into force in 1999 .
Representatives of the European Community noted that Europe estimate Kazakhstan as perspective partner. Also they highly appreciated political activity of the Republic of Kazakhstan concerning observance of human rights and rights of ethnic minorities. The chairman of the Commission of the EU Zh. Santer emphasized that the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement is an important tool for future economic and social progress in Kazakhstan.
In turn, President Nursultan Nazarbayev lit his vision on development of cooperation between Kazakhstan and the European Union. He emphasized that the CIS countries should follow the example of the European Union which is based on four freedoms: free movement of goods, services, capital and labor.
The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the Republic of Kazakhstan and European Community includes certain purposes and tasks:
- development of close political relations through the beginning of regular dialogue on political affairs;
- formation of the trade, investment and harmonious economic relations;
- creation of a basis for mutually beneficial economic, social, financial, civil, scientific, technological and cultural cooperation;
- maintenance of the actions of Kazakhstan directed on consolidation of its democracy and completion of transition to market economy .
Since May, 2009 in Brussels and Astana started discussion of new, advanced agreement, because PCA accepted in 1999 had validity period for 10 years which can be automatically prolonged and changed. The content of this agreement can be qualitatively improved and approached to the documents concluded in a format of an European Neighborhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership as, for example, the contract signed with Morocco, and also the agreement with Ukraine. Currently the eighth round of negotiations passed, as a result was concluded the agreement which allows to found new, improved base for further development of the relations. New document will demonstrate aiming of Kazakhstan and the European Union on tangible progress of bilateral cooperation.
New Partnership and Cooperation Agreement covers 29 areas of partnership, including such areas as economy, trade and investments. It doesn't mean that the agreement on free trade will be concluded, but the section on trade and investments which is part of the new Agreement, considerably will expand an interaction framework in this area. There are important sections on political affairs, the sections concerning justice, freedom and safety, rule of law, observance and respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, protection of personal information in the document.
Between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the European Union is adjusted active political dialogue:
7 visits of the President of Kazakhstan to Brussels (February 1993, June 2000, November 2002, December 2006, April and October 2010, October 2014) took place during which were held negotiations with the management of the European Union on key questions of bilateral cooperation. At a recent meeting in October 2014 were mentioned political and cultural humanitarian issues. The parties noted the growing level of interaction between the countries in various areas and emphasized existence of the perspective directions for further development of cooperation.
On December 1–2, 2010 was the first visit of the European Council president H. Van Rompuy to Kazakhstan where he took part in work of the Summit of OSCE in Astana. Upon termination of summit was adopted the Astana declaration. In it participants of the Summit confirmed obligations, the principles and values of OSCE fixed in the Helsinki act and the Parisian charter for New Europe.
On May 2, 2012 the Prime minister K. Masimov in Brussels held meetings with the European Council president H. Van Rompuy, the President of the European Commission Zh. M. Barroso and the European Commissioner on trade K.De Gyukht for discussion the bilateral relations, not only in political, but also in economic spheres.
On June 2–3, 2013 was the first official visit of the President of the European Commission Zh. M. Barroso to RK. This visit promoted expansion and deepening of our partnership, and also confirmed mutual interest in development of multilevel communications between Astana and Brussels once again .
In recent years our country managed to create good base of interaction which gives additional stability to the relations with European Union countries. Council of cooperation, and also Committee of cooperation are annually carried out. There are two relevant subcommittee — on trade, investment, energy and transport and also on justice and a law order. Dialogue with the European parliament is adjusted within annual meetings of Parliamentary Cooperation Committee. Among the most important branch of dialogues it is possible to call meetings on energy and transport. Actively held dialogue in the sphere of justice, internal affairs and human rights.
Legal and cultural and humanitarian cooperation with Europe is extending. Kazakhstan is also interested in deepening of communications with the Council of Europe, including by means participation in a number of the legal documents and partial agreements relating to advance the effective management based on the principles and standards of democracy, human rights and rules of law.
Adjustment of dialogue in the new sphere — crisis reaction and prevention of emergency situations where both parties show keen interest in cooperation seems very perspective.
The wide field for cooperation between Kazakhstan and the European Union exists in the sphere of counteraction to modern calls and threats — terrorism, organized crime, a drug traffic, illegal migration, in the field of justice and internal affairs.
Now negotiations for settlement purpose on mutual simplification of a visa regime for citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan and EU Member States are conducted, and the program for creation this agreement will be realized. In fact freedom of movement is one of the factors of friendly partnership. «I would like to highlight that the arrangement in the relations between Kazakhstan and the EU was an agreement on the preparation of a possible agreement on simplification of visa regime between the two parties together with the readmission agreement», — said Nursultan Nazarbayev at the press conference after the negotiations. 
Despite the existence of treaties governing political cooperation of the European Union and Kazakhstan, nevertheless, there are certain problems. One of those is the extradition problem. The extradition is delivery of the criminal of one state to other state on request of the last for involvement of the criminal to criminal liability. Delivery of the person who committed a crime it is possible according to the international treaty connecting the states or by a mutual consent of the parties. In Kazakhstan wasn’t law on an extradition until authorities came up against Rakhat Aliyev, Mukhtar Ablyazov and Alexander Pavlov's situations and therefore some amendments to the criminal code were made, but there is noted that the extradition is allowed in the presence of international treaties. In turn Great Britain is not going to sign bilateral agreements with Kazakhstan about delivery of state criminals. Germany also refused to ratify the similar agreement, this position is supported also by France, Italy and Austria, explaining that Kazakhstan wouldn't manage to provide absolutely fair and humane attitude towards such criminals. As Kazakhstan is not a member of the EU, the legal base differs a little, but, I think, with adoption of advanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement that is expected for the end of this year, this issue will be resolved.
In 2009 the ambassador of Kazakhstan in the Russian Federation Adilbek Dzhaksybekov in Moscow during «round table» «the Program of the Republic of Kazakhstan: The way to Europe» emphasized that Kazakhstan is interested in cooperation with the European Union only on «equal partnership level». Also he noted that cooperation of Kazakhstan with the EU it is favorable and for Russia too. But currently we observe absolutely other picture, especially introduction of sanctions by the European Union against Russia. In this regard problematic was a question how sanctions will affect on the Republic of Kazakhstan, the country that maintaining stable neighborhood with Russia. The imposition of sanctions will affect not only on economy, but also on a political situation. The candidate of political sciences, the CEO of Central Asian fund of democracy development Tolganay Umbetaliyeva noted: «Speaking about political consequences, it should be noted that sanctions will promote first of all strengthening of a position of opponents of the Kazakhstan authorities. Growth of national economy was a support of the present power, with it help government strengthened the position. Nation whose financial position improved due to the growth of economy, supported the authorities. However after an economic crisis in 2008 growth of social vulnerability was noticeable, after the last devaluation the discontent of the people increased. Therefore these sanctions will lead to growth of protest moods in the country, the president and present elite will be supported less». 
Representatives of the EU noted that sanctions will not affect on Kazakhstan but how to explain that fact that the western companies leave our market of oil industry. The exit from new largest project on development of the Kashagan field was announced by the ConocoPhillips company, and also the large Norwegian company Statoil. Representatives of the companies noted that the state must facilitate working conditions of producers of oil, but in my opinion, exactly Russian important role in the Caspian region influenced on their decisions.
Obviously, the Republic of Kazakhstan is aimed at long-term and strong cooperation with the European Union. That is why by the initiative of the President of Kazakhstan N. A. Nazarbayev was developed, accepted and realized the State program «A way to Europe» and priority of the European vector is put in the Concept of foreign policy of our country. The Way to Europe program assumed achievement of the following results:
1) output of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the level of strategic partnership with the leading European countries in political, economic and humanitarian areas;
2) creating favorable conditions for annual increase in commodity turnover with the European countries at 10 %;
3) annual exchange of at least 5 visits at the level of heads of states and governments of Europe (in accordance with the schedule of international events);
4) signing with the EU of the Memorandum of understanding on development of transport networks in the context of joining of the Kazakhstan networks with Pan-European transport networks;
5) adoption of the technical regulations and the harmonized standards conforming to requirements of EU countries;
6) improvement of the national legislation considering the European norms;
7) promotion of interests of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the European continent. 
Objectively, that in recent years our cooperation become more mature and structured. The EU remains one of our most important political and economic partners.
So, multifunctionality, vigorous joint activity and cooperation, the reached productive agreements say that the partnership of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the European Union gained strategic character, without regard to a distant geographical favor.
1. About the Concept of foreign policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2014–2020)
3. The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the Republic of Kazakhstan, the European communities and their member states. — European Union. Representation of the European commission in Kazakhstan. — Almaty, 1999.
4. EUROPEAN UNION AND REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN. PARTNERSHIP AND COOPERATION AGREEMENT. Article 1
7. http://charter97.org/ru/news/2014/3/7/89587? 1
8. The STATE PROGRAM «A way to Europe» for 2009–2011. Astana, 2008