The EU towards Russia: more united but also more efficient?

Would the Russian domestic policy and the last year’s return of Vladimir Putin to the president’s office have an impact on Russian foreign policy? If so, how would it change relations between Russia and the European Union?


Andreas Schockenhoff, member of the Bundestag (CDU) and coordinator of German-Russian cooperation of Civil Societies; author of a critical Bundestag resolution on Russia adopted in November 2012
Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz, Undersecretary of State at Polish MFA, former deputy director of Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW)
Kadri Liik, Head of the ECFR programme „Wider Europe”, expert on Russia
Sergey Utkin, expert on European Affairs at the Institute of  World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Science

Chaired by

Adam Daniel Rotfeld, ECFR Council Member, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Co-Chair of Polish-Russian Group on Difficult Matters

This year's edition of European Foreign Policy Scorecard, the comprehensive analysis of the foreign policy of the European Union published yearly by ECFR, scored the EU slightly better than in the previous years. However, the EU still remains far behind its ambition and potential in the external relations. Nevertheless, the EU’s activities in the external relations  have become more consistent and are certainly better organized.

One of the main areas, where this positive evolution could be observed, is the policy towards Russia. The  tougher course of  Kremlin’s domestic  policy and the last year’s return of Vladimir Putin to the president’s  office were accompanied by an increasingly critical discourse on Russia in Germany, as well as by the European Commission’s assertive attitude towards Gazprom’s expansion  upon the European energy market.

But is this more consistent line of the EU, earlier often divided as regards Russia, also more efficient? Many observers believe that Russia  openly rejects the idea of modernization based on the European model and values and ultimately breaks up with the West. Are we observing “the end of the EU – Russia relations as we know it” (Dmitri Trenin)?  If so, in which areas this turning point will be most noticeable and what does this mean to the EU and Poland?

More on European Foreign Policy Scorecard:

Conference was held in Polish and English