February 22, 2018

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Russia Direct Report: 'Is Europe unraveling?'

By Timofey Bordachev, Jack A. Goldstone, Aurel Braun, Dimitri Elkin
Russia Direct Brief #29, July 2016, 28 pages

CONTENTS
1. Russia and the Europe of the Future.
2. An American view: What Brexit says about Europe.
3. Sovereignty, globalization and the post-Brexit world.
4. Interview with Dmitri Trenin and Vivien Pertusot.
5. Book review: Will the EU be able to face the challenges of the 21st century?

Britain’s historic decision to exit the EU has raised new questions about globalization, sovereignty and the future of the European integration project. It has also raised questions about Russia’s future relationship with the EU, especially against the backdrop of the continent’s growing migrant problem and struggle with radical Islamic terrorism.

Description

Britain’s historic decision to exit the EU has raised new questions about globalization, sovereignty and the future of the European integration project. It has also raised questions about Russia’s future relationship with the EU, especially against the backdrop of the continent’s growing migrant problem and struggle with radical Islamic terrorism. 

This report examines the debate over globalization and sovereignty from several different perspectives, presenting unique viewpoints from Russia, Europe and across the Atlantic.

From the Russian perspective, a new EU without Britain will not necessarily become an easier partner. Even the embrace of shared challenges – such as the threat of radical Islamic terrorism – will likely do little to shift Europe’s perception of Russia as a potential threat rather than a potential partner. As a result, the prospect of greater trade and economic cooperation between Russia and the EU now seems to be in doubt, as Russia pursues its Eurasian integration project and greater economic cooperation with China.

This report includes an interview with Dmitri Trenin, the director of the Moscow Carnegie Center, as well as with Vivien Pertusot, the director of the Paris-based think tank IFRI (French Institute of International Relations). Both give their views of Europe post-Brexit and share their opinions on how Russia might begin to rebuild its relationship with Europe. While it is impossible to predict the precise trajectory of European integration over the coming years, one outcome is certain: the security architecture of Europe will be more stable if Russia and the EU manage to find common ground in the wake of Brexit. Russia has a unique and historic opportunity to change its relationship with Europe by becoming part of the EU’s future debate over sovereignty and globalization, not by isolating itself or by defining itself in opposition to Europe.

The authors of the report are Timofey Bordachev of the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, American sociologist and political scientist Jack A. Goldstone, Aurel Braun of the University of Toronto, and Dimitri Elkin, Russian-American writer and businessman. 

 

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