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The Union of Europe: the last chance?
Material posted: Publication date: 07-09-2010

The first window of opportunity opened after the Russian revolution of 1991 and lasted approximately until the mid-1990s. Then thrown off communism, Russia and its young elite enthusiastically rushed towards the West, Europe, were ready to integrate with even the rights of apprentices.

But, after some hesitation, the West refused. With Russia politely treated as a defeated party, although she herself did not consider this. Began the expansion of NATO. Europe showed now become obvious to all historical fatigue and loss of strategic vision and beginning to integrate Russia, and only small countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Such myopia was forgivable, perhaps, only in Germany, on which hung a heavy burden of revival of the former GDR.A second chance existed at the beginning of this century, when Vladimir Putin, already is much more harsh and realistic, tried seriously to bring together Russia and the EU.

Started many dialogues, which, in addition to useful mutual knowledge, nor to no avail. Prevented - and this is important - the lack of a shared strategic vision of what our goal is, in their relations both sides should strive for. In addition, the Europeans nostalgically trying to maintain the position of a master-slave system. Not wanting to understand that with the restoration of the Russian statehood the balance of power has changed dramatically. And Russia, on the contrary, persistently and with the arrogance to change the rules of the game established in the 1990s, and at the same time avenging the humiliation.

As a result the decade now ending, like the previous, were for EU-Russia relations a time of wasted opportunities. Swearing in the pursuit of partnership, the parties rigidly competed, even fought. Brussels wanted to prove to Russia the existence of his weakening foreign subjectivity. Russia has hit back with diplomatic and preventive strikes. I at one time kept a count of these "victories" and "defeats". A year and a half ago got tired of.

By that time the score was 12:5 "in our favor". I admit that if someone was engaged in similar nonsense in Brussels, he could be somewhat different result. But one thing for sure: the overall score was minus 17 for both. Forgotten gaining victory or suffering a symbolic defeat, losing both sides. Lost and others. Vying for political points, for influence in the area of common neighbourhood in the Western part of the CIS, not so much together they helped to develop, how much is inserted to each other spoke in the wheel. And there were usenki, from which the Russians howled and then howled some other Europeans, and Lukashenka, which howl in parallel, but separately.

But the main loss was in the other. Competing with each other on the line Russia - EU, or leading a rearguard action unfinished "cold war" between Russia - NATO, both parts of Europe began to lose in the geopolitical competition of the new world. Actually "slept through the rise of the" new Asia, which began tectonic shifts in the world economy and politics.


The partnership for modernization

The history of the last twenty years of Russia's relations with the rest of Europe, mostly organized now in the EU or in NATO, speckled with unfulfilled slogans or empty hopes. I just recall some of them. It all started with the "common European home" Gorbachev or a "Europe whole and free" j. Bush Sr. It was followed by unanswered call B. N. Yeltsin for Russia's entry into NATO. Then, having lost all benchmarks for joint development, and not willing to look for them, Russia and the EU have engaged in a long essay document on "four spaces" for cooperation, is still striking with its emptiness.

Then Russia simply waved a hand to the EU, officially turned their attention almost exclusively on bilateral relations with European powers. It's more practical.In the last year, feeling the weakening of their positions in the world, both sides began to seek ways to resume convergence. Convenient slogan was proclaimed by the Russian President, the idea of modernization. At the summit Russia - EU in November 2009, it was announced "partnership for modernization". Last held 31 may - 1 June summit in Rostov-on-don, "partnership for modernization" became the Central subject of the application.

The summit went well, "in a friendly atmosphere", and really as a dialogue between equals. The European Union long ago gave up trying to teach. Russia refuses from hiding little contemptuous disregard.

But I have the setting at the centre of dialogue "partnership for modernization" raises concerns. It would not have turned out another empty slogan distracting from the performances is really important for both parts of Europe strategic objectives.

I doubt it for two reasons. Both are important, but lie in different planes.

First, believe that the Russian ruling elite, with rare exceptions, and even the majority of the Russian population do not yet really want serious modernization that would require rejection of rampant bribery, relatively quiet life after years of hardship and chaos - in short, big changes. Although I can not but rejoice that the Russian thinking class, the new intelligentsia, began to Wake up and demand change, abandoning the existing model of stagnant-corrupt capitalism.

I see from their point of urgent need to overcome this model and due to the rapidly increasing lack of competitiveness of our country in economy and in military-technical sphere. So, soon the inevitable losses, and in foreign policy, where we have cleverly maneuvered. But on the basis of melting.Secondly, under the "partnership for modernization" both sides understand different things. And I'm afraid both largely wrong.

Official Russia under modernization understand the advantage of upgrading technology, or, if more crudely and simply, the assistance to Russian corporations in their business projects.

While the Russians are not yet ready to sacrifice a little bit so it's hard won sovereignty, with unlimited possibilities and unbridled stealing. So to adopt European technical standards do not want: hand over sovereignty. Although the Russian President and pointed out that the construction standards for the roads in Russia at lower cost.The EU still exist at the level of preparing paper or clerks of the Parliament hopes that Russia will return to the role of "Junior apprentice", which in contrast to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, which was such a role, no one is going to pay.

At the political level in Europe, the modernization is understood as the movement of Russia to the expansion of political freedoms, respect for human rights. However, violations are habitually referred not so much to bureaucratic and police lawlessness against million, how much only one side of the tip of the iceberg - the murders of several human rights defenders, journalists or dispersal of demonstrations of the opposition. It is more than important issues. But the main problem of Russia from the point of view of human rights - not police or microdepressions unsolved murders of human rights defenders, and perhaps the powerlessness of millions.With such a difference in understanding of modernization or simply by misunderstanding the nature of "partnership for modernization" is almost doomed to become another empty slogan.

This does not mean that Europe, Russia and the EU don't need to bond or that this rapprochement will not promote Russia's modernization. The alienation of the last decade contributed greatly to the weakening of Russia party of Russian Europeans, which historically almost fully coincides with the party of modernizers. And the feeling that "Europe is us not the decree" that helped a lot of sorts of barbarism or "africanization" social life in Russia. Continued after a short reversal in the 80-90-ies of Russia's retreat from the best in the history of "European" of the NINETEENTH century.

The slogan of "partnership for modernization", despite the fact that it is extremely positive, will not deploy the tendency to alienate two parts of Europe. The main thing - it not only means different, but not in line with indigenous mutual interests of Russia and Europe of the EU. The latter is in principle not so interested in Russia's modernization. And Russia in the new world in increasingly can obtain technology and capital from all directions. Including also from the East. Even if the basics of these technologies was initially created in American or European laboratories.


The main interest

The main interest uniting vserossiyskoy Europe and Russia lies in the sphere of geopolitics and geo-Economics. And that, thank God, hopefully, not too late start to understand both in Moscow and in the capitals of old European powers. Although it is only at the top.

I am in this article wrote a lot about insulting my homeland. Thus I will give only one for me the undisputed statement. When the inevitable sequel for a few more years, hopefully not for long, trends to demodernization Russia will not be able to afford the role of an independent player of the first class. And if not will join forces with Europe will inevitably drift towards the role of commodity, and then a political appendage of China. With the threat of increasing degradation trends in society and the loss of such a great effort returned to the status of a great sovereign power.

I truly admire the fantastic economic, civilizational and political successes of great China. If we can't achieve anything better, well, it would have to be younger, subordinate brother superpower of the future. But until that happens, I prefer to appeal to fight for a more favorable role. Although I guess, you need a faster economic rapprochement of Russia with the new rising Asia. We are shamefully lagging behind in the competition for its markets.

Even worse than Russia's, look's geopolitical future of Europe. The integration project, sadly, including for the Russians is at an impasse. On the wave of euphoria from the achievements of the past, decuple victory over communism, Europe the EU has made a series of mistakes, for which now you have to pay. First, without the federalisation of fiscal policy - simply without a policy were determined from a single center in the Euro zone countries were admitted who had other than the native Western Europeans, the economic culture.

Secondly, it was conducted too quickly and almost without conditions, the expansion of the Union. As a result, the club increased backward, the adoption of common solutions has become even more difficult. Then came the enlargement fatigue. And this in turn has deprived the EU of its most important foreign-policy lever: the offering the prospect of membership in the most comfortable and civilized community that mankind has created throughout its history. As a result of sharply decreased the political weight of the EU in the eyes of such countries as Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, foreign policy, the capitalization of the Union in the world. Finally, it was a mistake and the adoption in the early 1990s goal of creating a common foreign policy. Happened while policies at the lowest common denominator, which has largely tied the hands of the great European powers, but not given increment of influence throughout Europe.The situation in Europe the EU has been exacerbated by the return to world power foreign policy, economic growth as a criterion of success. And Europe, with the partial exception of the Nordic countries, is willing and able to fight for growth after decades of social welfare. For military force does not want to fight and pay nothing.Return to the world of traditional geopolitics of nation States as major players threw out historic fatigue of Europe.

After the most severe of the twentieth century, perelomova ranges of almost all European powers, the Europeans simply don't want to sacrifice anything for the purposes of the great strategic policy. And remain increasingly aloof from her.

The economic crisis, ratification of the Lisbon Treaty have highlighted all these problems, which many Europeans did not want to, and now largely don't want to publicly admit.

The epitome of the failure of Europe to translate into political influence aggregate economic and cultural weight became the Copenhagen climate summit. There, I will remind, the USA and new leaders simply did not invite the EU to find solutions to the issue that the Union has declared almost the main priority.Europe, having still a large human, economic and cultural potential, unable to use it to adequately protect their interests.So to recognize the new weakness and old mistakes. And recognize started. I say this without the slightest malice. With joy. There is hope, albeit theoretical, for a more realistic policy, including towards Russia.The more that see the consolidation of realism in Russia. The oil crisis diminished arrogance. But did not lead to feelings of vulnerability from the outside world, searching for the enemy. There is a rare for our country is a combination of confidence and understanding of their weaknesses.A new realism has already led to tangible foreign policy success. Nothing behind, we finally fully admitted the crimes in Katyn and behaved in a truly generous to Poland and her grief.It remains to acknowledge that the Soviet Union was a huge Katyn for our peoples. But more about that in another article.


The Union Of Europe

For the past six months, many European politicians and thinkers of the top layer started talking about the urgent need for rapprochement with Russia to avoid further marginalization in the world. Know about such changes in sentiment. Saw them in person.

That is why the slogan "Partnership for modernization" was my worry. It would not have left these sentiments in a whistle.Experience shows: without clear mutual interest and jointly understand without long-term strategic objectives of co-development, overcome the drift from each other a radical convergence will not happen. Will not happen then the reverse trends in the loss of both sides of Europe positions, offering players new world, is able to effectively protect their interests and values. Even if they are great.Now many of these values more distant than ever. But in the area of miroprofen, especially global economic governance, they are close and coincide. And political values, I hope, will approach. And from both sides.

Not only Russia cannot afford "new barbarism," but, I'm afraid, is another Europe - almost osteuropaischen, postizotonicheskoy values. They can be develop in a much more favourable circumstances that no longer exist.

Without the unification of Europe in the world of the future will be to order the U.S. and China. And brilliant politicalelite Europe will roll. Maybe this small problem. But this bipolar world with a huge number of new competing players will be almost by definition unstable. The triangle USA - China - United Europe would make it much more sustainable.That is why again and again I write and speak about what Russia and Europe (the EU) need to develop a long-term goal of creating a Union of Europe between the countries with the inclusion of other States, the orientation of which is not determined: Turkey, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, other.It is based may lie a short contract - the Declaration on the establishment of the Union, accession to which is based on the readiness of all European countries. It is to the Union rather than to sluggish bureaucratic and strategic partnership should strive for. It might not work. It will not be easy. But it's worth it.

The European Union still seems to be legally issued in the form of large contract, as discussed above, the four agreements, creating four main areas of cooperation and co-development, and probably a large number of small, "sectoral".The first of the major contracts could be the establishment of a common strategic space, providing close coordination of external policies. Soft power of Europe, the EU together with considerable hard power and strategic might of Russia. It may be objected here: the EU is not a partner. But we are interested in the growth of its influence - weak Europe weakens Russia.

A Treaty would solve the problem left over from the "cold war" and made her unfinished: the military-political division of Europe.It is gratifying that this idea has been embodied in actual policy. During the last June of the Russian-German summit, Merkel has suggested Dmitry Medvedev to initiate almost monthly meetings between the foreign Ministers of Russia and the EU for the coordination of foreign policy. The Russian President supported the idea.

Another key agreement can become energy, establishing a single complex of Europe with the General rules, with equal access of corporations of all countries to systems of production, transportation (what they want in the EU) and, of course, to energy distribution (what we want in Russia). Such a single complex could play in the history of greater Europe, the same role played by the ECSC - European coal and steel community, which grew into the EEC, the EU.

This idea already expressed more than a decade ago, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

The third contract was established would the common economic and technological space in Europe with a clear, unified rules and freedom of movement of capital, goods, people. Perhaps in the future with the Customs Union.

About it was spoken and written by many. But the relevance of this idea is growing in terms of weakening the overall WTO regime, the steady divergence of the world economy into regional blocs. In fact, it would have been to create a common economic and energy market of greater Europe, which would be more than competitive in the competition with the old and new giants.

And finally, the last, maybe most important, a common humanitarian, cultural, educational space - the visa-free movement of people, a mass exchange of students, the prospective establishment of a single labour market. This prospect, if it is delivered as an official, imperatively requires movement towards similar political institutions and equal respect for human rights. And as the EU, the harmonization of cultures will not. Will increase their interpenetration. You may have a more tolerant attitude to gay demonstrations. But opportunities for our piggishness also will be narrowed.I am ready to continue to Refine your idea. And with an expanding circle of colleagues and associates - will.

Despite the obvious idealistically and sverhsrochnoy implement something similar to the European Union, I consider this idea to be necessary and even realistic. I am Russian, European and believe in the great European values - rationality and the mind.

In the future Russia and the EU Europe, acting separately, are doomed to degradation and weakening. It is irrational and unreasonable.


Sergey Karaganov,

Dean of the faculty of world economy and world politics GU-VSHE


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