On April 8, the Valdai Club hosted a presentation of its latest report, titled “The Future Speaks to the Past: The Strategies of BRICS Countries Towards the European Union.”
Over the past year, the Valdai Club has repeatedly discussed the topic of BRICS, considered issues of cooperation between the nations of the bloc during the pandemic, the prospects for the BRICS+ format, the results of the Russian chairmanship of the association, and much more. The Club’s new report is the first step towards understanding what a common BRICS strategy towards the EU might look like. According to the authors of the report, this topic is long overdue, and now is the time to start a corresponding intellectual discussion.
All BRICS countries are linked with Europe by a multitude of contacts and interests, both in politics and economics. Each of the countries has accumulated unique experience in relating to the European states to the European Union as an institution. Russia, among all the BRICS countries, has the most complex and controversial experience in its relations with Europe. For several hundred years, Russia strove to become one of the elements of the European balance of power. India also has a unique experience: the legacy of its colonial past is not only preserved, but also reflected in national politics. China looks down on Europe because of its size and place in the global balance of power. Brazil and South Africa see the European Union largely through the prism of their regional interests and ambitions in Africa and Latin America.
Is it necessary to form a common BRICS strategy towards the EU? What are the similarities and differences in the approaches of individual BRICS countries to relations with Europe? What transformations are underway in relations between the BRICS countries and the EU, taking into account the changing balance of power in the world? The participants of the presentation answered these and other questions.
Nivedita Kapoor, Junior Fellow with the Observer Research Foundation’s Strategic Studies Programme (India)
Vasily Kashin, Senior Research Fellow at the Central Research and Development Institute of the Higher School of Economics, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Dmitry Suslov, Deputy Director of CCEMI, National Research University Higher School of Economics