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The Relationship Between Eu And Russia: Symbiosis Or Competition?


  • Ligia Corduneanu

    () (Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University Iasi)

  • Stefan Grigore

    () (Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University Iasi)

  • Ion Muschei

    () (Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University Iasi)


Cooperation and trust between Russia and the European Union (EU), two of the most important international actors, have reached the lowest level since the Cold War. The main bone of contention has been the future of countries situated in Eastern Europe, in the so-called ‘in-between’/’buffer’ region. On the one hand, the EU aims at strengthening links with the six Eastern European partners – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine – by encouraging reforms and by luring them to embrace European core values. However, Russia’s counteractions have mitigated the EU’s plans towards its vicinity - as the case of Ukraine best points out. Apart from the geopolitical competition over the ‘shared’ neighbourhood, the EU-Russia relation has started to depend heavily on the energy issues further complicating the already complex background. Russia uses the energy card as tool to influence the shape of the regional context, whereas the EU responds with a superior technological advantage and a more attractive economic and political agenda. Having this a backdrop, this paper aims to underline that a clear competition between the two players exists, fomented by a fundamental ideological difference in perceiving the outside world.

Suggested Citation

  • Ligia Corduneanu & Stefan Grigore & Ion Muschei, 2014. "The Relationship Between Eu And Russia: Symbiosis Or Competition?," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 6(2a), pages 40-55, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:jes:wpaper:y:2014:v:6:i:2a:p:40-55

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ian Manners, 2002. "Normative Power Europe: A Contradiction in Terms?," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 235-258, June.
    2. Michael Merlingen & Cas Mudde & Ulrich Sedelmeier, 2001. "The Right and the Righteous? European Norms, Domestic Politics and the Sanctions Against Austria," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(1), pages 59-77, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Amira SAWAN, Raluca Georgiana SĂFTESCU, 2014. "Towards The Sunset Of Eu-Russia Strategic Partnership?," Europolity – Continuity and Change in European Governance - New Series, Department of International Relations and European Integration, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, vol. 8(2), pages 137-151.

    More about this item


    Russia; European Union; Crimea; Energy; Commerce; Eastern and South-eastern Europe; soft power; hard power; normative power. Romania;

    JEL classification:

    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F5 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy


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