Summary recommendations
for the Europe – Russia relationship
voiced by participants of working groups and plenary sessions speakers

  • Russia and Europe should work together to face the challenges of our time
  • There are major challenges that can only be addressed effectively by Europe and Russia together: solving conflicts in the shared neighbourhood, the fight against terrorism, limiting nuclear proliferation, reducing climate change
  • In both Europe and Russia, democratic rhetoric is now in crisis. It is important to reformulate democratic and liberal ideas

 

  • Europe and the Russian opposition must prepare for a transitional period after the current regime falls
  • It is important for Europe to build a relationship with Russia (at a people to people level) beyond Putin, before the regime leaves power
  • The Russian opposition should present a united front and work in between elections to build well organised structures
  • Work must focus on regional and municipal institutions, as part of an effort to build civil society in different parts of Russia
  • There is a need for positive messages and success stories from the opposition
  • Russian civil society and Western stakeholders should create together a road map with a plan to repair relations between Russia and Europe. Regime propaganda has done enormous damage to mutual relations

 

  • Supporting civil society in Russia is a way of supporting Europe’s own future
  • Europe should talk to democratic Russia, not to the regime
  • Europe should support the Russian middle class, which is able to compete in a globalised world and wants different leadership in Russia
  • Cultural initiatives, which are not affected by the “foreign agents” law, can be used to develop civil society in Russia
  • A visa-free regime could be offered to people under 25-years-old, for a few days, if they want to enter the EU
  • Russian civil society and Europe should work to rebuild trust in their mutual relations, destroyed by regime propaganda

 

  • Europe should react strongly to abuses of international law and human rights standards by Russia
  • Europe should discuss the effectiveness of sanctions and decide on the next steps related to sanctions policy
  • For personal sanctions against the regime to be effective, they need to be made more difficult to circumvent
  • There is a need to come up with new tools to root out corrupt Western business practices in Russia – these strengthen the regime and reduce the moral authority of Western countries
  • Europe should do more to help Ukraine become a success
  • Europe should move on from a “sanctions only” policy

 

  • Communication is the key to constructive Europe — Russia relationship and effective work of Russian opposition
  • Channels of communication between Russia and the EU need to remain open despite EU sanctions
  • The Russian opposition should communicate more effectively with society and convince citizens that their vote in elections matters
  • Russian society needs to become aware that there is an alternative to the current regime

 

  • Russia should seek real, political reform, rather than wait for the economic crisis to go away
  • Russian authorities should not implement import substitution, as this strategy has very little chance of being effective in the modern world
  • The way for Russia to overcome the economic crisis is to develop a closer relationship with Europe.
  • Russia should take into account the changes taking place in global energy policy related to climate change

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