The Scope of Influence of the Central and Eastern European Member States of the EU on Shaping the EU’s Policy towards Russia – The Case of the Visegrad Countries
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University of Warsaw
Publication date: 2016-12-31
Stosunki Międzynarodowe – International Relations 2016;52(4):111-122
As a result of the EU’s Eastward enlargement, when the Union‘s closest neighbourhood was significantly changed, the relations between the EU and Russia have gained a new dimension. In 2004, the EU’s eastern border shifted towards the region that is perceived by Russia as its main area of influence. The special interest of Central and Eastern European Member States of the EU in the eastern neighbourhood has caused tensions in the EU’s relations with Moscow. The author argues that these arise from diverging visions of the post-Soviet space. This raises the question whether the CEE member states of the EU are entitled, due to their geographical and historical conditions, to shape the EU’s policy towards Russia. The complexity of this issue requires looking at the Union’s policy towards Russia in the context of the national interests of selected EU Member States. The paper examines the scope of the influence the Central and Eastern European Member States of the European Union have on shaping the EU’s policy towards Russia, with the focus on the Visegrad countries. The author analyses whether the V4 countries’ foreign policy interests affect the Union’s decisions on its policy towards Russia, and then moves on to assess the need of building wider alliances with the ‘old’ Member States of the EU in formulating a common policy towards Moscow.
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