The Russia-driven creation of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) at the beginning of 2015 has provided the EU with a new range of geopolitical and geo-economic challenges, stemming from Moscow’s predominantly “competitive” view of this new form of regionalism in the Eurasian space. At the same time, a certain level of engagement with the EEU and its member states could also help Brussels create new channels of dialogue with Russia, thereby increasing its ability to effectively address complex regional issues such as the Ukraine crisis.
How to strike the right balance? This report starts with a comprehensive analysis of the EEU, focusing on its pillars but also on the main defining features of the stance towards this new form of regionalism held by each country in the Eurasian. Based on this analysis, which also acknowledges and highlights the key role played by China in the region, the report assesses the pros and cons of three possible strategic options for the EU in dealing with the EEU: Full Engagement, Competing Unions, and Tentative Compatibility.
The authors come to the conclusion that the most effective and realistic one is Tentative Compatibility, which provides a pragmatic benchmark based on fostering “technical” cooperation across the blocs. In this light, the report offers several recommendations to the EU to adjust its policies (from the ENP to the Security Strategy, to the strategic partnership with China) accordingly.
The full report is available here.