Expert Conference: “The EU, Russia and Eastern Europe – Dissenting views on security, stability and partnership?”

The expert round­table conference “The EU, Russia and Eastern Europe – Dissenting views on security, stability and partnership?”, organized by the IEP, in cooper­ation with the Trans European Policy Studies Associ­ation (TEPSA) and the Volkswagen Foundation, took place on 22nd and 23rd November 2010 at the Repre­sen­tation of the Saarland to the Feder­ation.

Forty partic­i­pants – among them inter­na­tional experts from academia and the policy-making community – gathered at the Repre­sen­tation of the Saarland to the Feder­ation to discuss three different, though inter­re­lated topics: the issue of the ‘shared neigh­bourhood’ in the EU-Russia relations, the future of the European Neigh­bourhood Policy (ENP) and the security dimension of EU external action in the (South) Eastern neigh­bourhood. The EU-Russia relations in the light of the ‘common neigh­bourhood’ was the first topic under discussion. The review of possi­bil­ities for political cooper­ation between the EU and Russia in the post-Soviet space crystal­lized diverging positions on possible policy fields, tools and relevant actors (EU insti­tu­tions, member states, economic or societal actors). The second panel aimed at discussing and evalu­ating the impact of the European Neigh­bourhood Policy (ENP) and the Eastern Partnership (EaP). While both achieve­ments and limits were highlighted, the discussion focused on the (theoretical, practical and psycho­logical) impact of membership condi­tion­ality. In the third panel partic­i­pants discussed insti­tu­tional devel­op­ments of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Moreover, the policy was analysed from a regional perspective (i.e. impli­ca­tions for the Balkans) as well as around analytical lenses (i.e. long-term processes that are external to actors’ policy decisions). Finally, a dinner debate with Borys Tarasyuk, former Foreign Minister of Ukraine, focussed on the state of affairs of the EU-Ukraine relations, reasons for the failure of the Orange Revolution, and Ukraine’s positioning between the EU and Russia.

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