The EU’s Role in Fighting Global Imbalances
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The EU’s Role in Fighting Global Imbalances

Edited by Antonina Bakardjieva Engelbrekt, Moa Mårtensson, Lars Oxelheim and Thomas Persson

The EU’s Role in Fighting Global Imbalances looks at the role of the European Union in addressing some of the greatest challenges of our time: poverty, protectionism, climate change, and human trafficking. Contributions from ten leading scholars in the fields of economics, law, and political science provide in-depth analyses of three key dimensions of EU foreign policy, namely: the internal challenges facing the EU, as its 28 member countries struggle to coordinate their actions; the external challenges facing the EU on the global arena, in areas where global imbalances are particularly pervasive, and where measures taken by the Union can have an important impact; and the EU´s performance on the global arena, in the eyes of other key actors. Based on a broad and interdisciplinary understanding of the concept of global imbalances, this book argues that these challenges follow from pervasive global imbalances, which at root are economic, political, and legal in character.
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Chapter 9: The EU’s relations with Russia: off balance and beyond repair?

Anke Schmidt-Felzmann


‘Russia is our largest neighbour and a strategic partner with whom we have been building a solid and mutually beneficial relationship. It is in our common interest to develop further our bilateral relationship and the legal framework that underpins it’ (European Commission, 2013a [IP/13/490]). With these words, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso described the relationship between the European Union and the Russian Federation – and the EU’s ambitions for it – ahead of the EU–Russia Summit Meeting in June 2013. Just a few months later, however, the envisioned strategic partnership deteriorated into serious conflict. How and why was the ‘strategic partnership’ between the EU and Russia thrown off balance? The question warrants investigation. It also requires an assessment of the consequences of confrontation for the future of EU–Russian relations. Have more than two decades of cooperation and 32 high-level summit meetings helped build a strong enough backbone for the relationship to carry on, despite the conflict? Or is a complete breakdown and a fundamental transformation of the EU–Russian relationship the necessary fallout?

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