On January 27, foreign ministers of the fifteen E.U. member states and their Uzbek counterpart gathered in Brussels for the E.U.-Uzbekistan Cooperation Council, the single most important bilateral meeting of the year between the E.U. and Uzbekistan. Conclusions of past E.U. Cooperation Councils with Uzbekistan, and E.U. action to promote human rights in Central Asia overall, have been disappointingly weak, but recent months have seen a significant change as the E.U. increasingly uses its leverage in the region to press for progress in human rights.