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6–7 октября в Брюсселе Российский совет по международным делам, совместно с делегацией ЕС в России и Институтом изучения проблем безопасности Европейского союза (EU ISS) провели семинар «Россия и ЕС: новая реальность». На семинаре обсуждались двусторонние отношения России и ЕС и пути их нормализации. Российскую сторону на семинаре представляли постоянный представитель Российской Федерации при ЕС, член РСМД Владимир Чижов, президент РСМД Игорь Иванов, генеральный директор РСМД Андрей Кортунов, программный директор РСМД Иван Тимофеев и программный менеджер РСМД Наталья Евтихевич. Европейская сторона представлена главой представительства ЕС в РФ Вигаудасом Ушацкасом, генеральным директором по вопросам Европы и Центральной Азии Европейской службы внешних действий Томасом Мейером-Хартингом, директором Института изучения проблем безопасности ЕС Антонио Миссероли и др.

6–7 октября в Брюсселе Российский совет по международным делам, совместно с делегацией ЕС в России и Институтом изучения проблем безопасности Европейского союза (EU ISS) провели семинар «Россия и ЕС: новая реальность».

На семинаре обсуждались двусторонние отношения России и ЕС и пути их нормализации, перспективы разрешения украинского кризиса, вопросы обеспечения безопасности в Европе, возможности экономического и гуманитарного взаимодействия России и ЕС.

С российской стороны в семинаре принимали участие постоянный представитель Российской Федерации при ЕС, Чрезвычайный и Полномочный Посол, член РСМД Владимир Чижов, президент РСМД Игорь Иванов, генеральный директор РСМД Андрей Кортунов, программный директор РСМД Иван Тимофеев,  программный менеджер РСМД Наталья Евтихевич, эксперты РСМД: Чрезвычайный и Полномочный Посол Александр Аксенёнок, директор по международному развитию Института современного развития (ИНСОР) Сергей Кулик, главный редактор журнала «Вся Европа», профессор МГИМО МИД России Марк Энтин, заведующий отделом стратегических оценок Центра ситуационного анализа РАН Сергей Уткин и др.

Европейская сторона была представлена главой представительства ЕС в РФ Вигаудасом Ушацкасом, генеральным директором по вопросам Европы и Центральной Азии Европейской службы внешних действий Томасом Мейером-Хартингом, директором Института изучения проблем безопасности ЕС Антонио Миссероли, директором программы «Россия и Евразия» Королевского института международных отношений Джеймсом Никси, старшим аналитиком Европейского института по изучению проблем безопасности Нику Попеску, старшим научным сотрудником Центра европейских политических исследований, бывшим советником Хавьера Соланы и Кетрин Эштон Робертом Купером, Чрезвычайным и Полномочным Послом Королевства Дания в Российской Федерации (2005–2010) Пером Карлсеном и др.

Это четвертый семинар в рамках сотрудничества РСМД с делегацией ЕС в России. Первый семинар прошёл в РСМД в Москве 9 февраля 2016 г. Второй семинар прошел в Берлине 6 апреля 2016 г. Третий семинар состоялся в Москве 1 июня.

Текст выступления Игоря Иванова

Dear friends and colleagues!

I am very pleased to take part in the fourth meeting of European and Russian think tanks. In my view, we were able to set a very useful format of the non-official dialogue between Russia and the European Union, where we can discuss even the most sensitive problems in an open and honest way. Such a dialogue is particularly important today, when many of the ‘standard’ channels of communication are either blocked or not used at full capacity. I am looking forward to very practical and productive discussion today. Let me extend my gratitude to the EU Delegation to Russia and to the EU Institute for Security Studies – our committed and reliable partners in this initiative.  

It is common to argue these days that we live in the age of uncertainty. Indeed, it is difficult to make any credible predictions in a rapidly changing world. I do not know who is going to become the next US President. I do not know who is going to become the next German Chancellor, the next French President or the next Italian and Spanish Prime Ministers. To tell you the truth, I do not even know who will be the next President of Russia!

However, there is at least one thing that I know for sure. Our common continent, Europe, now lives through a very hard period of its history. This is not just one problem or crisis that we have to deal with. We face a broad variety of challenges – in politics, in security, in economics, in social life and in culture. Some of these challenges are unprecedented – we never confronted anything like that in the past. People across Europe are concerned, confused and scared. We see fewer of them smiling, fewer of them enjoying life. Europeans – all of us – are fearful about their safety, about the safety of their loved ones, about what might happen to them tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.

Let me emphasize one again – this is not about a particular spot in Europe, a particular country, or about a select European sub-region. This growing instability is spreading across the whole continent with no safe harbors or ‘shining cities on the hill’. A couple of years ago we spoke about ‘indivisible security’; today the time has come to speak about ‘indivisible insecurity’.   

Why do I want to start our discussion with painting such a gloomy picture? In order to appeal to all of us: we have to set our priorities right and to avoid any further steps that could aggravate the current dangerous situation even further.

Despite Brexit and the beginning of a ‘divorce’ between the United Kingdom and the European Union, nobody questions the evident fact: the Great Britain needs Europe, and Europe needs the Great Britain. Despite multiple complications and problems in negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, nobody questions the deep interdependence between Europe and the United States.

By the same token, we should recognize that despite all the profound disagreements and contradictions between Europe and Russia, we need each other. Of course, Europeans and Russians have partners all over the world, but Russia does not have an alternative to working with Europe, and Europe does not have an alternative to working with Russia.   

If we agree with this judgement, it is high time for us to stop talking that we are ‘different and far apart’ from each other, that there is a profound ‘value gap’ between us, and that we can ‘easily survive without each other’ and so on. Indeed, Russia can survive without Europe and the other way round. Nevertheless, to provide decent and secure life for ourselves and for future generations without each other appears to be hardly possible.

The EU – Russia dialogue is indispensable. Furthermore, I am deeply convinced that such a dialogue should not be limited to discussing the burning problems of the day or the immediate concerns that we have. These matters are important, but our common agenda goes far beyond them.  

In order to win in the modern fast-changing world you have to think strategically, to consider long-term trends, challenges and opportunities, to assess the needed resources, mechanisms, appropriate foreign policy tools and instruments. I think that such a strategic vision has always been a deficit commodity in the relations between Moscow and Brussels. Today this deficit is more evident and more dangerous than ever before.

Therefore, I think that on top of dealing with situational problems we need a permanent bilateral EU – Russian Committee for Strategic Planning. It has to work independently from the day-to-day political environment and ongoing crisis situations. Its main mission should be in considering strategic long-term proposals to be further approved at the highest political levels.  Furthermore, this Committee should have the authority to monitor the implementation of the approved proposals.

If such a Committee is successfully launched and demonstrates its efficiency, it might make a visible contribution into the overall relationship, leading to more predictability, stability and, hopefully, to a gradual reconciliation of diverging visions and narratives.

As for dealing with the ongoing problems, I am not sure that we should waste our time and energy trying to reinvent the wheel. We have a useful and in no way obsolete experience in working on the four ‘common spaces’. A lot has already been done in each of these ‘spaces’. Frankly speaking, I do not see any fundamental contradiction between the ‘four spaces’ and the idea of ‘selective engagement’ advanced by Federica Mogherini as one of the five principles in dealing with Russia.

In the end of the day, ‘selective engagement’ can embrace in this or in that way all of the most important areas of cooperation between Moscow and Brussels: economic interaction, international and domestic security, rule of law and civil society, education, research and culture. We can update or modify something, but the essentials are already there.

As a person who worked hard on the roadmaps for the ‘four spaces’, I can report to you that there are many interesting and very practical ideas developed for each ‘space’. We should simply brush the dust off these proposals and modify them in view of the today’s realities. What appears to be critically important – is to make sure that the teams working on each of the ‘spaces’ proceed with no sudden interruptions or long pauses; such interruptions and pauses may bring them back to square one.

EU – Russia summit meetings are, without any doubt, a critical component of the whole structure. In my view, summit meetings should take place once a year – alternately in Moscow and in Brussels. Their main task should be in making decisions on the most critical questions of the strategic nature.          

Another important question – the role of civil society in this whole process. I have to say that the current crisis among other things has revealed the weakness of the EU – Russian civil society interaction. On the other hand, these are exactly ordinary people on both sides, who have to become the prime beneficiaries and the main stakeholders of the relationships.

I hope that the role of civil society will not be omitted in our discussion today. I have a modest initial proposal to make in this regard. When we manage to restore the mechanism of summit meetings, we can arrange on the eve of each such meeting a big and representative conference of Russian and European NGOs to discuss problems of mutual interest and to render advice to politicians and bureaucrats. This new dimension of the Russia – EU dialogue would undoubtedly make such a dialogue not only more open and democratic, but also more innovative and productive.

Thank you for your attention. 

 

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