6 Pages

The EU and Russia: space of interaction in times of crisis

An introduction
ByThomas Hoffmann, Andrey Makarychev

This chapter introduces the ongoing crisis of all the models of Russia–Europe Union (EU) relations that, in two decades after the fall of the Soviet Union, were dominant in the debates on a "common European home" and a wider Europe. Russia's attempts to counterbalance EU-promoted liberal values with a conservative type of policy appear retrogressive and largely coercive, which strategically might lead them to collapsing. During many centuries Russia has demonstrated a remarkable ability to speak with Europe a language saturated with European notions and concepts that, however, being incorporated into the Russian systems of interpretation, substantially transformed their original content. The Putin regime in this respect is no exception–it is capable of digesting, interpreting and re-signifying many European concepts, from realist to liberal and post-modernist, and taking advantage of the democratic openness of Western political order. The chapter also presents an overview on the key concepts discussed in this book.