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Past Program

Oct 21 - Oct 22, 2011

Gaps in the "Common Spaces"? The Future of Russia-EU Relations

Fellow 25

Abstract

As recent Russia-EU summits have shown, while relations on the continent have come a long way in the past 20 years, there are still a wide range of issues on which both sides must still strain to reach a semblance of common ground. The European Union and Russia are tightly economically bound - the EU being the largest market for Russian exports and the EU being Russia's most important source of foreign investment - but obstacles to free flowing trade persist on both sides and complicate not only bilateral trade but also Russia's plans for eventual membership in the WTO. In terms of energy policy, though the two are highly inter-dependent, this dependency makes for frequent and often messy quarrels over price and supply. Plans to regularize higher education across the region, such as the Bologna Process, are moving institutions toward a common system but at highly divergent rates and with varying degrees of success. At the same time, questions about human rights, democracy, and external security continue to complicate talks on any matter of joint interest. The European Union, in setting an agenda for bilateral relations with the Russian Federation, optimistically refers to these various issues as "Common Spaces", but despite having much in common, it seems that these spaces still have quite a few gaps that need filling.

This meeting of the Salzburg Global Fellowship will give participants an opportunity to explore each of these issues in a series of plenary presentations and discussions as well as in small group discussions intended to consider recommendations for both Russian and EU foreign policy.

While we encourage all Salzburg Global Fellows to participate, space is limited so please sign up soon. There is no fee for participation, however should travel be necessary, Fellows should make their own travel and accommodation arrangements. Some assistance can be given to those who require a visa to enter the Russian Federation. Please RSVP to Fellowship@SalzburgGlobal.org to confirm your attendance.