Select Committee on European Union Third Report


The Reasons for the Inquiry

1.  The Committee[1] decided to inquire into EU/Russia relations for three main reasons. First, the proposed enlargement of the EU to incorporate countries of East-Central Europe will, if successful, shift the geographical balance of the EU to the east and, at the same time, raise potential border problems with the Russian Federation. Second, the attack on the World Trade Center in New York on 11 September 2001 (hereinafter '9/11') prompted President Putin to align Russia with the West in confronting terrorism, a policy shift with implications of the greatest importance for the EU. Third, the Committee has already worked on the effectiveness of EU Common Strategies. In particular, we reported on the Mediterranean[2]. It seemed natural for us also to report on Russia.

2.  Moreover, and more generally, the Committee considered that reform in Russia has now advanced sufficiently to offer a serious prospect of fruitful co-operation between Russia and the EU. In particular, we see a growing convergence of interest on matters of practical significance.

The Scope of the Inquiry

3.  In this report we examine the current state of relations between the EU and Russia, and then we examine what the future could and should hold.

4.  The report has six sections:

—  Russia's place in EU foreign policy

—  The EU's place in Russian foreign policy

—  Russia's economy

—  Stability and Security

—  Common Challenges

—  Recommendations

5.  We took evidence as part of this inquiry. A list of witnesses appears: Appendix 2 and the evidence is printed with this report.[3]

1   Our membership is listed in Appendix 1. Back

2   The Common Mediterranean Strategy 9th Report from the House of Lords European Union Committee, session 2000-2001, HL paper 51. Back

3   References in the form (Q00) are to questions in the oral evidence; and (p00) to pages of written evidence. Back

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