On June 28-29, 2016 Russian and foreign experts on European integration, relations between Russia and Europe gathered at the St. Petersburg State University in the framework of the international conference "Studying EU-Russian Relations: Research Agenda in Russia and in the West"
At the opening ceremony participants were greeted by Dean of St. Petersburg State University School of International Relations Irina Novikova, who noted that relations between Russia and Europe will never lose its relevance, at St. Petersburg University this subject has been studying from the 1990th years by well-known experts.
Today, EU-Russia relations are in crisis, the output of which involves a conceptual rethinking of the basic categories of the dialogue in the field of economics and politics. ‘Ukrainian crisis was an accelerator that brought out other contentious issues between Russia and the EU, in addition, among the Russians we observe the growth of distrust to the ideas that come from the West", - said the international journalist, Research director of the German-Russian forum Alexander Rahr.
According to Director of the Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexey Gromyko, internal modernization in Russia and in the European Union could provide an impetus to the normalization of relations between Russia and Europe as well as new mechanisms for cooperation. ‘I mean cooperation between the EU and the Eurasian Economic Union.’ ‘To some extent, the European Union could serve as a model for the EAEU, at the same time expanding the EAEU is not necessary, the expansion of the EU has led to greater diversification of the EU and the formation in it of separate groups of states that support more interaction with each other.’
The conference was a part of the work of SPbU Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence. Work on the project, scientists at the University began in 2015, focusing on two tracks: research and teaching. The conference is part of the research track. ‘We are studying how relations between Russia and the European Union were studied in Russia and abroad’, said project leader, Associate Professor of St. Petersburg State University Tatyana Romanova. ‘We pay attention to the methodology and noted some trends: some issues were more popular in Russia, others - abroad. Let's just say, in Russia researchers pay attention to the enlargement of the European Union, its common Foreign and Security Policy while in the European Union experts prefer to explore how relations between Russia and member states affect the overall position of the European Union. Thus, the objective of the project is to promote greater mutual understanding between Russia and the European Union due to the dialogue between researchers’, said Tatiana Romanova.