Russia and the European Union: Prospects for a New Relationship (Strategic Studies)

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Cautious first steps could be taken in the areas of e-commerce, fundamental research including under the EU's Horizon programme and education. The EU and Russia could pursue an informal exchange of their experiences on financial cybercrime and cyberterrorism prevention. One speaker stressed the increasing security threat from lethal autonomous weapons.

The EU and Russia could consider a joint initiative to ban those weapons. However, one participant remarked that, in hindsight, the focus of the discussion was mainly on EU and much less on Russian sanctions. Views differed regarding the effects and effectiveness of the EU's restrictive measures against Russia. Experts agreed albeit to different degrees that the effect of the sanctions was larger on Russia than on the EU. Some participants pointed out that the sanctions had helped to deter Russian military action in Ukraine.

Moreover, sanctions were able to incentivise at least some of the Russian political elite's representatives, as demonstrated, for instance, by Alexei Kudrin's repeated calls that Russian foreign policy should aim to reduce the pressure of sanctions. The participants assessed that the prospect of lifting sanctions was low, even if some EU governments and business communities would be willing to take steps in that direction.

Russian speakers saw a risk that sanctions would either not be lifted or be reimposed once Russia had complied with the Minsk Agreements citing JCPOA and Iran as an example. EU experts, on the other hand, expressed doubt about Russia's willingness to stick to policy changes once the sanctions were lifted. This part of the discussion reflected the very low level of trust that exists in the current relationship.

EU speakers questioned the significance of the EU lifting its restrictive measures provided that conditions are fulfilled in light of the new US sanctions legislation.

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Russian speakers objected. They were certain that such symbolic steps would be appreciated by the Russian side. In this situation, Russia and the EU should both consider low-key measures in order to preserve economic cooperation wherever possible, and rebuild some of the trust that has been destroyed in recent years. For instance, authorization procedures could be improved in order to make non-sanctioned trade and investment easier.

Both sides could try to offer more information about sanctions to businesses and maximize the clarity and transparency of the sanction regulations. With a view to US sanctions legislation, the experts discussed the possibility of the EU setting up an agency that could not only monitor the risks emanating from secondary US sanctions, but also help the Commission and national governments to carry out informed negotiations with US policymakers. Sabine Fischer.

EUREN has since evolved into a platform for intense discussion among a diverse group of excellent experts. In times of crisis in political relations this kind of exchange can help to better understand conflicting perspectives, perceptions and approaches. For the first time in the EU's history, populists and Eurosceptics managed to come to power in one of the union's leading countries. The weakening of the parties that form the large coalition in Germany has led to growing turbulence in the political system of this key EU country. The EU institutions, for their part, have launched the process of introducing sanctions against Poland [1] and Hungary [2] for disregarding the Union's fundamental values.

This conflict obviously goes beyond to the "EU-versus-offender" logic. We are witnessing a growing divide in values within the EU and a revival, in the eastern part of the Union, of national conservative ideology and populist and persona-centered regimes — that is, of everything that is most often described as "illiberal democracy.

Prospects for European and Eurasian Security and China’s Future Choices | SpringerLink

London is already perceived as an external partner, and relations with external partners have never had any substantial impact on the dynamics and development of the European Union. European politicians continue to reinvent the role and place of the EU in the modern turbulent world. The main challenges here are the growing egotism and unpredictability of the United States, the security crisis in Eastern Europe, China's attempts to intensify relations with individual EU member states, and the looming Brexit.

This reinvention process, however, is going to take time. Forecast for The elections to the European Parliament will be of fundamental importance to the EU's development in Rather than being just another vote, the elections have already turned into a "battle" for the alliance's future. While the role of the European Parliament among the EU institutions may not be that important, the election results will demonstrate the scale of the changes taking place in the political elites.

The EU public space is particularly susceptible to the general crisis of the liberal globalist ideology. After all, the EU represents an attempt to build, within a single region, an ideal model of political liberalism, economic and foreign-trade liberalism, and globalism that implies the transfer of sovereignties.

In the European Union, the crisis of liberalism is being transformed into the growing influence of populism, nationalism and right-wing conservative ideology. Populist and persona-centered parties are growing stronger.


  1. English and American Studies in German. Summaries of Theses and Monographs. A Supplement to Anglia: 2007.
  2. Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung.
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  4. EU EXTERNAL ACTION.
  5. Sheep in a Shop (Sandpiper Book).
  6. European Union (EU) | Chatham House?

These parties base their strategy on anti-elitism; they undermine the role of the establishment parties and destabilize existing party-political systems. Almost all of these forces appeal to various aspects of the nationalist ideology and promote the need for a "strong" state, frequently resorting to Eurosceptic rhetoric. It is now clear that, instead of the domestic political issues so common for the individual EU member states, the EU parliamentary campaign will be based on the dichotomy of having "more" or "less" of the alliance. The results of the elections are likely to see the influence of the Eurosceptics in the European Parliament grow, and they may secure between and seats.

However, most of these newly elected MEPs will profess a "mild" variety of Euroscepticism, in that they will criticize the EU's functioning principles and demand that its powers be restricted to some extent. They are unlikely to call for individual countries to pull out of the EU.

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Relations with the European Union

The long-standing consensus-based operation of the European Parliament, which relies on a balance between the European People's Party and the Social Democrats, is about to be a thing of the past. One possible scenario would be for four roughly equal groups to emerge, each comprising between and MEPs. The traditional left- and right-centrist party groups would be preserved; both groups would include a noticeable number of moderate Eurosceptics.

A group of moderate Eurosceptics would unite disparate populists and nationalists, and would be dominated by right-wing conservatives. This configuration would institutionalize the confrontation between those in favour of deepening integration and the Eurosceptics. At the same time, flexible coalitions will be possible, sometimes uniting the right against the left, sometimes pitting Eurosceptics against Eurooptimists. Somewhat similar changes are possible within the Council of Europe. Few member nations will be able to provide consistent support for greater integration on a broad range of issues.

Most of the European leaders will be forced to reckon with the domestic political dynamics and specific national interests, so will be willing to seek common solutions to certain problems on the pan-European level. On other issues, they will be inclined to try and minimize the EU's role in order to preserve or regain freedom of manoeuvre to conduct their respective national policies. The new era will be marked by the bowing-out, in , of Jean-Claude Juncker, the last remaining patriarch of European federalism he will be followed shortly by Angels Merkel.

Pragmatists have been replacing supporters of "big ideas" over the past several years. A significant portion of politicians both Eurooptimists and Eurosceptics will be pragmatic in their assessments of the EU's usefulness as an instrument in addressing common challenges and achieving common goals.

Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

This approach will present an opportunity to reconcile the irreconcilable: namely, to deepen EU integration in areas where it is clearly necessary in order to achieve common goals, while simultaneously demonstrating greater flexibility with regard to politically sensitive issues or wherever existing differences in national interests so require. At the same time, all the sensible and pragmatic EU politicians understand that it is in the strategic interests of their respective countries to preserve and develop key EU projects. On the other hand, the potential price of the degradation of the European Union is so high that it is a very effective incentive for the political elites to seek common solutions for common challenges.

Such a reconfiguration of the EU will accelerate trends that are already noticeable today: a lowering of ambitions, a decrease in the role of values as incentives for political decision-making processes, and the growing divide in the levels of communitarization for certain political aspects. At the same time, EU institutions will rely on the support of a key group of countries in order to continue effectively monitoring compliance with the requirements of current legislation, primarily in the economic sphere.

The European Commission and various EU agencies will similarly continue their regulatory activities within their current remit. Major domestic challenges and the ongoing systemic transformation of the EU prevent European politicians from devoting much attention to relations with Russia. Apart from the aforementioned circumstances, there are two more factors that will preclude the EU from investing resources in the development of a proactive strategy. First, there is the understanding that the Europeans will remain hostage to a strategic confrontation between the United States and Russia, at least in the medium term.

Second, the difference in the EU member states' views of the Russian factor will impede the adoption of any significant decisions both confrontational and constructive. In this situation, the EU's policy will be dictated by the inertia of its prior decisions. This scenario does not rule out attempts by individual EU countries to use the Russian factor as a bargaining chip in their attempts to secure concessions from other EU partners.

It is also possible that some EU countries will try to obtain specific preferences from Russia in exchange for promises to promote Russia's interests in the EU, knowing full well that such lobbying attempts will never work. The propaganda confrontation will continue, as will attempts to blame Russia for "meddling" in the internal affairs of EU countries. However, given the difference in positions within the EU, any consolidated response is unlikely. Forecast for The EU of will be shaped by two groups of factors.

External developments will play a decisive role here. No matter who becomes the next President of the United States, the country will be less committed to multilateral economic and security institutions. A certain degree of degradation of global trade institutions will have a significant negative effect on economic growth rates. Given the global turbulence, the risks associated with tensions in regions on the periphery of the EU will remain and, more likely, escalate.

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