On June 6, at 3:00 pm, the Valdai Discussion Club will hold its fifth annual session within the framework of SPIEF-2019, titled “A New Europe: What Is Russia to Expect?”
The European Union has entered a period of fundamental change; the very model of European integration is changing. The established rules governing the relationship between the Europe and the USA are fading away. Recently, European Parliament elections were held, which also marked the beginning of a new era. The key question is: how significant are the changes? Are they fundamental in nature or are they merely a combination of 'cosmetic elements'? What will the European Union be? What is the future of Euro-bureaucracy?
EU-Russia relations are experiencing uneasy times. The legal framework for this relationship remains the Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation (APC), and more than 20 years have passed since it was signed in June 1994. In July 2008, negotiations began on a New Basic Agreement, which should replace the current APC. However, negotiations were frozen at the initiative of the EU. When and if they're renewed, Russia intends, in the future agreement, to pay special attention to a number of new issues, including Russia's accession to the WTO and the dynamically developing process of Eurasian economic integration. Since the signing of the APC, both Russia and the EU have gone through important political, economic and social changes. The new agreement is intended to reflect these changes and take a qualitative step forward.
The session's participants will present their scenarios for the development of relations between Russia and the European Union, and discuss the desired model for relations at the new stage, taking into account all the contradictions and changes. Thanks to the representative composition of participants from countries and organisations which play a prominent role in European affairs, the Valdai Club session will make an intellectual contribution to the start of ideological “brainstorming,” and the results could be taken into account when negotiations commence on the new Agreement. The inevitability of the arrangement's renewal is due both to the geographical proximity of Russia and the European Union, and to their rich common history, which assures us that differences have always been overcome.
The emphasis in the discussion is planned to be placed on the issues of energy security and sanctions, including secondary US sanctions against the EU, where Brussels is not only the initiator, but also the target of sanctions.
The Valdai Discussion Club has prepared two reports for SPIEF-2019: “Europe Under Fire From US Secondary Sanctions” is dedicated to the topic of maintaining European financial independence. The second report, titled “Regionalism in Global Governance: Exploring New Pathways” is devoted to a new trend in the global economy: the study presents the initiative of the Valdai Club on the eve of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan to establish “regional G20” as a focus of the G20's work .
Dimitrios VELANIS, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Greece
Fyodor LUKYANOV, Research Director of the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club
Péter SZIJJÁRTÓ, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary
Mario MEHREN, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Wintershall DEA
Vladimir CHIZHOV, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the European Union