Posted on Friday 17th May 2013
Russia and the EU: the Future of Europe and Eurasia
Conference held at the Institute for Europe, Moscow 15-16 April 2013
This was the ‘grand finale’ of the three year programme of events organised by the University Association for Contemporary European Studies EU-Russia network and, with the two-day conference held at the Institute for Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a very generous reception at the Residence of the Head of the EU Delegation, it certainly lived up to expectations. His Excellency EU Ambassador to Moscow Fernando Valenzuela opened the conference with a keynote speech exploring some of the pressing issues on the EU-Russia agenda. such as the negotiations on a new comprehensive agreement, the partnership for modernization, Russia’s concerns with regard to the third energy package and the new Eurasian Union.
The five main panels then explored the full range of EU-Russia relations including politics and identity; the economy, energy and modernization; economic and social issues, innovation and education; security and the shared neighbourhood and regional cooperation. Each panel included members of both UACES and the Russian European Studies Association which ensured a very fruitful exchange of ideas and stimulating discussion. What was particularly noteworthy, especially for a high-level conference in Russia, was the large number of research students and young scholars who presented papers and actively participated in the debates. For this, we are very grateful for the support of not only UACES but BISA and BASEES which provided bursaries for young scholars to attend.
There is clearly a lot of interest in the Network and we are hoping that some of those energetic and creative young scholars will be willing to take the project forward. A number of people at the conference expressed their willingness to get involved but further volunteers would be very welcome.
Derek Averre, University of Birmingham (D.A.Averre@bham.ac.uk) and Jackie Gower, King’s College London (firstname.lastname@example.org).