01 Oct 2001

The Elephant and the Bear

The European Union, Russia and their Near Abroads

Michael Emerson

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The idea of the Russian Bear has long been established in the European mind. The image of a huge, threatening and wild presence in the north is often juxtaposed against the placid and weightier European elephant. These images, despite their humour and even candour, in fact help us focus on the biggest uncertainty of the 21st century: the cohabitation of Europe and Russia. This study offers a conceptual framework to try to bring order into this complex and evolving EU-Russian relationship. The objective of the report is to set out the concepts, paradigms and to some extent the ideologies that are at play in this evolution of the Wider Europe.