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Category: History

Four general spaces Russia of the EU: analysis of prospects.

a. V. Tyazhov


Work is presented by department of the international relations and political science of the Nizhny Novgorod state linguistic university.

The research supervisor — the doctor of historical sciences, professor A.S. Makarychev

In article the prospects of successful realization of four general spaces between Russia and the EU are considered. For a number of reasons prospects are negatively estimated. The major factors menacing to progress in realization: 1) difference between actors; 2) the nature of "spaces"; 3) de democratization of Russia; the 4) lack of strategic vision of the relations from both partners.

The article explores the prospects of successful implementation of the four common spaces between Russia and the EU. The prospects are assessed as negative. The main factors that may stymie the progress are: 1) differences in the nature of actors; 2) very nature of the project; 3) de-democratization process in Russia; and 4) lack of strategic vision on the part of both partners.

The Russian Federation - the largest neighbor of the European Union (EU). In many respects importance of good neighbourhood is recognized by both partners. Moscow and Brussels developed rather strong links according to the concept of "strategic partnership". As it is approved as representatives of both parties, the four general spaces (FGS) brought the relations to new level, representing the fundamental document in from - carrying "strategic partners". However, as shows the analysis, for a number of reasons the project of the general spaces will more possibly end with failure, than success.

Two types of actors. First, it becomes more and more obvious that Russia and European Union represent two various types of actors in the international relations. Figuratively speaking they belong to the different worlds. As Robert Cooper noted, at the moment the world is divided into two worlds: "modernist" and "postmodern". [1, rubles 21] Four main characteristics allowing to carry out difference between two worlds, therefore, are: 1) sovereignty understanding (firmness - permeability);

2) perception of the state interests (traditional - "soft" safety);
3) understanding of force (military - civil, economic, "soft"); 4) the position of the individual (predominating - subordinated) [1, river 26-38]. Once you compare Russia and the EU, using these criteria, and differences between partners will be obvious in all aspects.

This distinction is important because it shows the abyss size between partners and a difference in their approaches. Questions to which the EU attaches the greatest significance such as human rights protection or democracy, can not be considered as so important in Russia which can be guided by other ideals. It, respectively, will complicate realization PSF because the same events will be perceived differently in Moscow and Brussels. In such conditions it is harder and harder to partners to find a common language. Therefore the project developed in one world - PSF - it is possible (and if Russia does not change, precisely), will not work in another.

New attempt? Secondly, ability PSF as example of policy of conditionality stimulate reforms in Russia also it can be called in question because of a project fog. As one of necessary conditions for success - definiteness, i.e. the argument with the purposes is described above, by "gingerbread" and "whip" it has to be accurately stated. Provisions of "road maps", undoubtedly, comprise very laudable ideas, however by the nature they are closer to declarations, than to practical recommendations.

PSF as the next attempt of Europeanization of Russia, can be crowned with success only when performing certain conditions.

1. First, requirements have to be legitimate [3, river 499]. The legitimacy of many requirements of the EU is rather disputable as, for example, requirements to cancel practice of collection of a payment for flights over Siberia and to privatize Aeroflot while 50-70% of stocks of such companies as

"Finn Air", Air France or Lufthansa, are in state ownership.

2. Secondly, definiteness of rewards and punishments is practically absent. As it was more than once noted, spaces are surprisingly foggy.
3. Thirdly, the amount of rewards is of great importance. The reward has to be more powerful than expenses. In a case about PSF, however, not clearly whether Russia is ready to endure radical changes about offered "gingerbread".

The "operated" democracy. Thirdly, internal changes in Russia will also promote a failure PSF. It becomes more obvious that Russia positions itself as an independent pole of force in the world, moving away from the Western community. This process takes in Russia such forms as growth of nationalism, emphasis of the "special" nature of Russia and a role in the world and revival of thinking in terms of times of Cold War with regular use of categories "we" and "they". Moscow is less ready to listen and perceive that it tells Brussels and that it wants from Russia. Respectively, more and more democratic achievements of the 1990th become history. In 2005 the authoritative international organization "Fried House" downgraded Russia to the level of "not free country" for the first time since inclusion of Russia in ratings.

The campaign for State Duma elections in December, 2007 also raised very large number of questions concerning commitment of Russia to the principles of democratic development, despite all statements of the power that elections took place freely and the population was not affected by "an administrative resource", and the victory of United Russia was not recognized as honest in the West. The mission of parliamentary observers of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and Parliamentary assembly of OSCE (Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE) and the Nordic Council (Nordic Council) which joined the statement counted elections

unfair and not conforming to standards of democratic elections [5].

Above-mentioned turning of processes of democratization of Russia is important for several reasons. First, as it is proved by many scientists, the changes reached through processes of "complex training" unlike "simple training" are more fundamental. That "complex training" took place, however, the trainee has to divide some norms, and the behavior of Moscow shows that Russia turns a back to the West and norms divided of

Lack of strategic vision. The fourth factor menacing to successful realization of spaces - lack of strategic vision of the relations both "strategic partners". So far the relations develop rather unstably. On the one hand, the European officials of all possible ranks emphasize the special role of Russia for the European Union. On the other hand, for the last few years practically any requirement of Russia was not met by Brussels. As many experts, Russia and the EU "note speak different languages" [4, page 109].

In the economic sphere the cooperation, though asymmetric, constantly develops. Trade volume between the EU and Russia, for example, increased almost three times for the last ten years. Among all trade partners of the EU Russia ranks third after the USA and China, however the share of Russia in the total amount of trade of the EU makes only 7.3% while 52% rossy-

sky foreign trade it is the share of EU Member States [2].

On the other hand, the hard and principled stand of Brussels at negotiations on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization generated a criticism wave in Russia with regular use of such terms as "the Bruxelles bureaucracy" and "arm-twisting". One more complexity with strategic partnership which follows from fundamental differences between actors, - a form of such partnership. Russia prefers the partnership based on traditional model of cooperation in the international relations, the EU, on the contrary, perceives the relations through "rapprochement" and "harmonization", i.e. reduction of the Russian domestic policy and laws in compliance with standards of the European Union.

Signing of road maps on four general spaces in 2005 generated many questions and provided few answers. May they be successfully realized? In this article four major factors interfering progress are in detail considered: differences between actors, the nature of the project, de democratization of Russia and a lack of strategic vision from both partners. Nevertheless it is represented that the real situation can be changed provided that both Russia and the EU realize importance of cooperation, will take several steps towards each other and will cease to confine only to stock phrases about partnership and friendship.


1. Cooper R. The Breaking of Nations [Text]: Order and Chaos in the Twenty-first Century. N.Y.: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2004. 180 p.
2. EU Bilateral Trade and Trade with the World. Russia [Electronic Resource]//European Union. DG Trade. 2006, May. Mode of access: (accessed April 24, 2006).
3. Schimmelfennig F., Engert S., Knobel H. Costs, Commitment and Compliance: The Impact of EU Democratic Conditionality on Latvia, Slovakia and Turkey//Journal of Common Market Studies. 2003. Vol. 41. Num. 3. P. 495-518.
4. T. Bordachev, A. Moshes Russia: end of europeanization?//Russia in global policy. 2004. No. 2. C. 104-117.
5. Zygar M. Postelective propaganda. The West hesitated to congratulate Vladimir Putin//the Kommersant. 2007. December 5.
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