Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

EU-Russia: facing stagnation

'The EU is confronted with a difficult situation', arques Nicu Popescu in his article. It is not well placed to play ‘geopolitical’ games: its decision-making process is consensual and thus slow, rules-based and not equipped for quick tactical twists and turns. By contrast, Russia shines when it pulls off quick, highly visible diplomatic offensives – but what it actually offers is often neither attractive nor credible.

The EU-Russia relationship is by its very nature bound to be cooperative in some areas and competitive in others. The EU may thus need to continue pushing for deeper cooperation where possible – primarily on trade and visa liberalisation. Re-energising the creation of a Common Economic Space with Russia, even if this implies dealing with the Customs/Eurasian Union, may be one option – but only if it leads to mutual trade liberalisation, not just the creation of another talking shop.

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