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What is Modernization in the EU-Russia Dialogue?

Alla Akulshina

The main objective of the paper is to analyse the EU-Russia agenda from the perspective of the concept of 'modernisation', which is not only an objective necessity butalso a challenge for Russia. We are observing a gap between urge of modernization and real readiness to implement it in Russia. Dialogue with the EU is historicallypredetermined. From time immemorial Europe was one of the main sources of Russian modernization, its democratic transformations, a kind of tuning-fork, which soundis hardly heard. In this paper I will analyse the reasons for the level of inertia today in the EU-Russia relationship, including lack of political will, low trust level, gap inboth value and mutual expectations, ebbing of European institution role and decrease in their strategic initiative that led to strengthening of roles of national states. Thiscontext allows talk about redirecting trend in strategic priorities with focus on bilateral cooperation between Russia and member states which is considered more analternative than addition to EU-Russia dialogue. A key matter of investigation is viability evaluation of the Partnership for Modernization initiative and assessment ofweakening drivers including EU-Russia communication gap in modernization process and frequent view of modernization as interference into internal affairs. SoPartnership for Modernization is either doomed to follow a fate of four 'Roadmaps' 2005 or will become a new renovation of EU-Russia agenda.

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