Jean Monnet Multilateral Research Group

Synopsis of Project

This project seeks to create a fundamentally new transnational perspective on EU-Russia relations, moving beyond the currently dominant EU- and Russia-centred approaches. The objective is to create a durable research network for collaborative research among four leading experts and Jean Monnet Chairs from three contexts: the EU, Russian and external (Canada). This Multilateral Research Group (MRG) fosters dynamic interaction between various research traditions and builds on multidisciplinary synergies. By applying a constructivist approach, the MRG focuses on the role of perception, images and identities of actors, and how these affect interactions at various levels and in a range policy fields, in particular, energy, minority policies, regional integration, and multilateralism. This project promises to create further added value for re-shaping the EU-Russia relations by actively including EU and Russian policy-makers and civil society actors as contributors.

In light of current developments in the region, the task undertaken by the MRG is of significant practical import, as differing perceptions of the relationship clearly are contributing to ongoing tension and conflict. The outcomes of the research, therefore, have a high potential for significant policy-impact.

Outreach and inclusion of the wider academic, policy-making and civil society community will be established through conferences, online policy briefs, working papers. A web-based interactive forum is being launched to foster genuine interaction between these divided communities. Research findings will be presented at several conference panels and a closing conference, and result in a major academic publication, as well as widely disseminated policy recommendations. Junior researchers are actively involved in the project to assure the sustainability of the network in the longer term.