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Round Table on EU-Russia Relations and Cooperation

23-24/4/2012  |  Russia
The RT was organized by the BRIDGE Coordinator – ISCOMET Institute for ethnic and regional studies from Maribor, Slovenia in the premises of State Duma of the Russia Federation, 23-24 April 2012.

The RT was attended by representatives of Russian civil society experts, academia, deputies and other members of State Duma, representatives from embassies of Hungary, Italy, Moldova, Romania, Slovenia and Ukraine as well as by members of EU Delegation to the Russian Federation. Altogether more than 20 speakers and 30 other representatives were present on the WS.

The aims of the RT: 1) to critically analyse the so far cooperation between the EU and Russia in all fields covered by the SP and ENP policy, 2) to point out shortcomings and gaps in this cooperation, 3) to discuss and outline ways and means for improving the role of civil society in this cooperation and for establishing a dialogue in this regard between governmental bodies and civil and academic societies in Russia, 4) to develop proposals and recommendations for further development of the EU-Russia relations with the emphasis on the period 2014-2020.

Programme

Программа

The RT was very successful it has offered fruitful discussions which have resulted in adopted recommendations. The programme was divided in 4 major sections related to the 4 common strategic spaces: common economic space, common space of freedom, security and justice, common space on external security and common space on research, education, culture.

At the beginning the EU relations with Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus and Russia in the context of BRIDGE project aims and activities (2008-2012) were presented by Prof Devetak, Project coordinator, followed by analysis of the EU-Russia relations and cooperation was presented by the author, Prof Busygina, professor at MGIMO University from Moscow and concluded by overview of the current and future perspectives for EU-Russia relations and cooperation presented by Mr Webb, Deputy head of EU Delegation to the Russian Federation.

In continuation speakers presented different issues of EU-Russia cooperation and in particular the speakers have addressed the following topics: political reforms and democratic developments in Russia, problems of legal regulation of the NGO’s status in Russia and their effect on the development of relationship between EU and Russia, development of local self-government, protection of human rights, freedoms and national minorities' in Russia, EU-Russia cooperation in the field of higher education, research and science, topics of regional development and cross-border cooperation, achievements and shortcomings concerning the people-to-people contacts, visas liberation, role of Russia in peaceful solution of the so-called ˝frozen conflicts˝ in Transdnistria, Nagorny Karabakh and other conflicts in the EU neighbourhood and role of Russia in contemporary world order.

Participants concluded that political cooperation is not following the cooperation on the economic field. Cooperation in the field of economics is deep and interdependent on the other hand political cooperation is hindered by several open issues between Brussels and Moscow. EU is stressing the importance of rule of law, fight against corruption, necessity of democratic reforms and respect of human rights and political freedoms in Russia. While Russia is pointing that EU is not treating Russia as an equal partner and that applying double standards when criticize Russian socio-economic system.
Participants have adopted more than 20 pages of recommendations to different EU and Russian authorities on all 4 common spaces.
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