01 Oct 2003

Institutionalising the Wider Europe (Russian translation)

Michael Emerson

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The Wider Europe has become a prominent feature in European foreign policy discourse. The EU’s first policy documents on this subject, however, have been thin in substance, mainly seeking to develop more active bilateral relations with countries such as Ukraine and Moldova. At the same time, however, the EU is discussing bilaterally just with Russia a set of common European policy spaces that should be at the heart of a Wider Europe policy. This paper argues that the EU should adopt a systematic approach to defining a complete set of seven common European policy spaces, with multilateral institutional developments to match, thus bringing together the bilateral and multilateral approaches. The overarching institutional mechanism should be through transforming the present very weak ‘European Conference’ into a seriously structured ‘Pan-European Conference’, led by a Coordinating Group consisting of the EU, Russia and a few other rotating places for non-EU states, with institutionalised linkages to the Council of Europe and other European multilateral organisations for the specific common policy spaces.