APPENDIX 3: CALL FOR EVIDENCE |
The EU Sub-Committee on External Affairs of the House
of Lords, chaired by Lord Tugendhat, is launching an inquiry into
the relationship between the European Union (EU) and the Russian
Federation. The Sub-Committee seeks evidence from anyone with
an interest. Written evidence is sought by Friday 24 October 2014.
Public hearings will be held from July 2014 and the Committee
aims to publish its report to the House, with recommendations,
in the first half of 2015.
The Sub-Committee's inquiry will examine recent relations
between the EU and Russia and consider how recent events should
help to shape future relations. The Committee will consider the
proximate and structural causes of the recent crisis in Ukraine
and Crimea, including EU actions and the consequent Russian response,
how the EU handled the crisis, and how the EU has handled relations
with Russia's neighbouring countries. This will provide the background
for the Committee to understand the strategic intent of Russia
and the EU towards each other and to assess how the EU and its
member states should conduct their relations with Russia. The
inquiry will also assess the EU's current approach to relations
with former Soviet republics and ask how the EU should structure
its relationship with these former Soviet republics.
The Committee will also look at the means by which
both sides conduct their foreign policy towards each other. Trade,
business and investment form a significant part of the strategic
tool-kit on either side. This inquiry will consider how this economic
interdependence in key economic sectors (including but not limited
to hydro-carbons, professional services, finance, consumer goods
and the food and drink sector) is determining EU foreign policy
decision-making and strategic intent. The inquiry will consider
if the business environment in Russia, in particular corruption,
uncertain rule of law, barriers to business and the role of the
state in the commercial sector is having an impact on the business
environment in the EU. The inquiry will also seek to define the
criteria, framework and means through which the EU and its member
states should conduct their relationship with Russia so as to
develop a mutually beneficial economic relationship with Russia
where the EU is able to safeguard its values and promote its strategic
Particular questions raised to which we invite you
to respond are as follows (there is no need for individual submissions
to deal with all of these issues):
EU and Russia acting in the shared neighbourhood
(1) Looking at recent events in Ukraine and Crimea,
what was the trigger for the crisis? What were the proximate and
structural causes of the conflict? How did the EU respond to recent
events in Ukraine? What lessons can be learnt from recent events
for EU policy in the neighbourhood?
(2) In the recent past, how has the EU handled
its relationship with Russia?
(3) How has the EU developed its relations with
former Soviet republics in the shared neighbourhood? How has the
EU managed the balance of its relations with countries in the
shared neighbourhood and with Russia? How has the EU responded
to Russia's relations and strategic interests with the former
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)?
(4) In the future, what sort of relationship
should the EU have with countries of the shared neighbourhood
in light of the recent Russian response? How should the EU structure
its economic and trade relationship with the countries of the
neighbourhood? What should be the nature of EU engagement in the
shared neighbourhood and with the members of the Eurasian Economic
(5) How clear have the EU and its member states
been in their strategic intent in their business and economic
relations with Russia? How could the EU and member states do more?
Has the EU used its commercial relations strategically and effectively?
(6) To what extent and in what sectors are the
UK and other EU member states' economies dependent on Russia and
vice versa? To what extent is Russia turning towards the East
in its business and economic relationships and what implications
does this have for its relationship with the EU?
(7) How effective have Russian businesses been
in wielding influence in EU member states, at the EU institutional
level and through what means? What are the political and diplomatic
implications of the depth of our economic relations?
(8) Are these business interactions used for
political and strategic purposes by the Russian state? What is
the impact on the business environment and corporate governance
in the EU as a result of doing business with Russia?
(9) Could the EU do more to address the problem
of corruption, rule of law and corporate governance within the
commercial relationship between the EU and Russia and could it
do more to improve standards of governance in corporate behaviour?
How do EU regulations, and the business environment in member
states, encourage a mutually beneficial trading relationship?
(10) Does the EU take sufficient account of the
'Russian perspective' and of Russian sensibilities? Do the Russians
take account of the EU perspective? What steps can the EU take
to encourage the Russians to take more account of the EU perspective
in their political calculations?
(11) How can the EU design sanctions, if these
should be required, which affect the Russian economy and the Russian
elite while minimising damage to the EU economy?
(12) Does the EU have a joined-up approach towards
Russia, which couples political strategy with economic and business
agreements? Is there a divergence between the approaches of member
states and that of the EU? How can the EU and its member states
build a consistent, coherent and strategic policy towards Russia?
How can the EU ensure that its economic aims do not run counter
to its political and strategic goals? What are the decision-making
processes in the EU which might improve this?
Framework for Relations
(13) What criteria should govern the relationship
with Russia and within what sort of overarching structures? What
is the appropriate framework to conduct our relations with Russia?
How can the EU construct a relationship with Russia that is positive,
mutually beneficial but also respects the EU's strategic purposes
and its values?
(14) What are the criteria for best practice
in the conduct of those relationships? How can the EU uphold its
values of corporate governance and good practice in its commercial
relations with Russia?
(15) What role can EU businesses play in promoting
EU best practice and EU values in Russia?