The iconic image of the fall of the Berlin Wall heralded the break up of the old Soviet Union and the emergence of the Russian Federation in 1991. It continues to forge new relationships at many levels with its neighbours, particularly the EU, which has long desired a close relationship with a Russia that is a democratic, stable civil society, governed by the rule of law that protects people’s rights. The EU and Russia both share a vision of a strategic partnership – but it is one that remains largely unfulfilled.
There is also growing disquiet, in Europe and elsewhere, that democracy and civil liberties in Russia are being weakened. Increasing state control of the media and the judiciary, legislation restricting NGOs and politically-motivated judicial cases all give cause for concern. Furthermore, EU member states often undermine common EU positions on Russia, thus detracting from a strong EU voice in dealing with Russia.
The EU-Russia Centre is an independent information and expertise resource for anyone interested in modern Russia, its democratic status and the future of EU-Russia relations.
It seeks to promote closer ties between the EU and Russia, to develop ideas about the future of the relationship, and to ensure that both sides adhere to international standards concerning the key elements of a civil society such as democracy, civil liberties and an independent judiciary.