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The EU-Russia Partnership for Modernisation 2010: Germany as Agenda-Setter

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Germany’s Role in European Russia Policy

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Abstract

Germany used the window of opportunity under newly elected Russian President Medvedev to conclude a bilateral German-Russian Modernisation Partnership in 2008, setting the agenda for the EU and member states. The modernisation paradigm became official EU policy with the EU-Russia Partnership for Modernisation in 2010, together with twenty-two bilateral agreements concluded by member states with Russia. The modernisation paradigm was based on German “Ostpolitik” (Eastern policy) assumptions that Russia could be transformed into a more democratic and reliable actor through increased economic interaction. Germany’s approach in the EU-Russia Partnership for Modernisation was perceived as a “constructive case of bilateralism”. Although the modernisation policy lost its relevance after President Putin’s return to power in 2012, the modernisation agenda played a crucial role in defining the EU-Russia relationship during the Medvedev period from 2008–2012.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Council of the European Union, Joint Statement, 2010.

  2. 2.

    Council of the European Union, Joint Statement on the Partnership for Modernisation EU-Russia Summit 31 May–1 June (Rostov-on-Don, 2010) http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_PRES-10-154_en.htm [accessed 17 March 2019].

  3. 3.

    Jose M. Barroso, ‘Bringing EU-Russian Relations to a New Level’, in Selected Articles on Modernisation and Innovation in Russia, ed. by Hanna Mäkinen, Electronic Publications of Pan-European Institute (Turku, 2012).

  4. 4.

    Frank-Walter Steinmeier, “Time for a German-Russian Modernization Partnership”: Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, at the Department of International Relations of the Urals State University in Yekaterinburg, 13 May (2008) https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/newsroom/news/080513-bm-russland/232842 [accessed 13 April 2019]. Cf. Also Petersburger Dialog, Gemeinsame Erklärung des Deutschen und des Russischen Lenkungsausschusses des Petersburger Dialoges zur Gestaltung der Modernisierungspartnerschaft, 2. Oktober (St. Petersburg, 2008) http://www.petersburger-dialog.de/files/Unterzeichnung%20Modernisierungspartnerschaft%20dt.pdf [accessed 8 March 2018].

  5. 5.

    Cf. Tatiana Romanova and Elena Pavlova, ‘What Modernisation?: The Case of Russian Partnerships for Modernisation with the European Union and Its Member States’, Journal of Contemporary European Studies, 22.4 (2014), 499–517.

  6. 6.

    Steinmeier, Yekaterinburg, 2008.

  7. 7.

    Interview with German diplomat in Warsaw, 20.05.2016.

  8. 8.

    Interview with German diplomat in Warsaw, 20.05.2016.

  9. 9.

    Cf. Stefan Meister, Reframing Germany’s Russia PolicyAn Opportunity for the EU, Policy Brief, European Council on Foreign Relations (2014), p. 7 https://www.ecfr.eu/page/-/ECFR100_GERMANY_RUSSIA_BRIEF_AW.pdf [accessed 14 April 2019]; Hans-Joachim Spanger, ‘Modernisierungspartnerschaft zwischen EU und Russland’, Strategie und Sicherheit, 2012.1 (2012), 395–407 https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/sus.2012.2012.issue-1/sus.2012.2012.1.395/sus.2012.2012.1.395.xml (p. 398).

  10. 10.

    Cf. Kai-Olaf Lang, ‘Polen, Deutschland und die EU-Ostpolitik: Spannungsfelder und Kooperationspotentiale’, in Deutschland und Polen: Die europäische und internationale Politik, ed. by Thomas Jäger and Daria W. Dylla (Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2008), pp. 123–36 (pp. 132–33).

  11. 11.

    Liana Fix and Anna-Lena Kirch, Germany and the Eastern Partnership after the Ukraine Crisis, Note du Cerfa, French Institute of International Relations (Paris, Brussels, 2016) https://www.ifri.org/sites/default/files/atoms/files/ndc_128_kirch_fix_en.pdf [accessed 9 March 2018].

  12. 12.

    Cf. Referat Mittel- und Osteuropa der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Partnership with Russia in Europe: Economic and Regional Topics for a Strategic Partnership, Gesprächskreis Partnerschaft mit Russland in Europa (2007) http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/id/04688.pdf [accessed 14 April 2019].

  13. 13.

    ‘Berlin schlägt in der EU-Russlandpolitik eine “Annäherung durch Verflechtung” vor’, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 4 September 2006.

  14. 14.

    Manfred Huterer, ‘Strategie ist möglich: Diplomat Huterer über Deutschlands Ostpolitik’, in Zeit im Spiegel: Das Jahrhundert der Osteuropaforschung, ed. by Manfred Sapper and Volker Weichsel (= Osteuropa, 2–3 (2013)), pp. 269–76 (p. 270).

  15. 15.

    Ralf Beste, Uwe Klußmann and Gabor Steingart, ‘The Cold Peace’, Spiegel Online, 1 September 2008 (p. 3); Interviews with current and former experts from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin, May–July 2016. A German expert suggested that the paper was leaked on purpose to Der Spiegel after the Russian-Georgian War to prepare the ground for future policy making: Adomeit, Russlands “Modernisierungspartnerschaften”, 2011, p. 47.

  16. 16.

    Beste, Klußmann and Steingart, ‘Cold Peace’, 2008, p. 3.

  17. 17.

    Ibid.

  18. 18.

    Ibid.

  19. 19.

    Ibid.

  20. 20.

    Cf. Paul Flenley, ‘The Partnership for Modernisation: Contradictions of the Russian Modernisation Agenda’, European Politics and Society, 16.1 (2014), 11–26.

  21. 21.

    Andrew Wilson, The Rostov Summit, ECFR Commentary (2010) http://www.ecfr.eu/article/commentary_the_rostov_summit [accessed 8 March 2018].

  22. 22.

    Dmitry Medvedev, Россия, вперёд! 10 September (Moscow, 2009) http://www.kremlin.ru/news/5413 [accessed 13 April 2019]; English version: Dmitry Medvedev, Go Russia! 10 September (Moscow, 2009) http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/5413 [accessed 13 April 2019].

  23. 23.

    Alexander Goltz and others, Russia in the 21st Century: Vision for the Future, Institute of Contemporary Development (INSOR) (Moscow, 2010) http://www.riocenter.ru/files/INSOR%20Russia%20in%20the%2021st%20century_ENG.pdf [accessed 14 April 2019].

  24. 24.

    Cf. Vladimir Gel′man (ed.), Authoritarian Modernization in Russia: Ideas, Institutions, and Policies, Studies in Contemporary Russia (London, New York, NY: Routledge, 2017).

  25. 25.

    Interview with German diplomat in Warsaw, 20.05.2016.

  26. 26.

    Cf. Flenley, ‘Partnership of Modernisation’, 2014.

  27. 27.

    Sabine Fischer, ‘EU-Russia Relations: A Partnership for Modernisation?’, in From Cooperation to Partnership: Moving Beyond the Russia-EU Deadlock, ed. by Bertelsmann-Stiftung, Europe in Dialogue, 2013, 1 (Gütersloh: Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2013), 26–34 (27f).

  28. 28.

    Steinmeier, Yekaterinburg, 2008.

  29. 29.

    Ibid.

  30. 30.

    Ibid.

  31. 31.

    Ibid.

  32. 32.

    Ibid.

  33. 33.

    Cf. Bobo Lo and Lilia Shevtsova, 21st Century Myth: Authoritarian Modernization in Russia and China, Carnegie Moscow Center (Moscow, 2012) https://carnegieendowment.org/files/BoboLo_Shevtsova_web.pdf [accessed 16 December 2018]; Walter Laqueur, ‘Moscow’s Modernization Dilemma: Is Russia Charting a New Foreign Policy?’, Foreign Affairs, 89.6 (2010), 153–60 https://www.jstor.org/stable/20788726 [accessed 16 December 2018]; Sirke Mäkinen, Hanna Smith and Tuomas Forsberg, “With a Little Help from my Friends’: Russia’s Modernisation and the Visa Regime with the European Union’, Europe-Asia Studies, 68.1 (2016), 164–81 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09668136.2015.1123223.

  34. 34.

    Steinmeier, Yekaterinburg, 2008.

  35. 35.

    Interview with German diplomat in Warsaw, 20.05.2016.

  36. 36.

    Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie, Erklärung über Schwerpunkte der deutsch-russischen wirtschaftlichen Zusammenarbeit im Rahmen ihrer Modernisierungspartnerschaft, 26. November (Berlin, 2010) https://russische-botschaft.ru/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Erkl%C3%A4rung-%C3%BCber-Moderniserungspartnerschaft.pdf [accessed 14 April 2019].

  37. 37.

    Frank-Walter Steinmeier, “Tackling global challenges togetherprospects for the German-Russian modernization partnership”: Speech by Federal Minister Steinmeier at the meeting of the bilateral steering committee of the Petersburg Dialogue, 3 July (2008) https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/newsroom/news/080703-petersburger-rede-bm/232866 [accessed 13 April 2019].

  38. 38.

    Cf. Matthias Dembinski and others (eds), Nach dem Kaukasus-Krieg: Einbindung statt Eindämmung Russlands, HSFK-Report, 2008, 6 (Frankfurt a. M.: Hessische Stiftung Friedens- und Konfliktforschung, 2008).

  39. 39.

    Petersburger Dialog, Gemeinsame Erklärung, 2008.

  40. 40.

    Interview with British expert in Brussels, 08.03.2016.

  41. 41.

    Interview with German diplomat in Berlin, 15.07.2016.

  42. 42.

    Interview with German diplomat in Brussels, 30.05.2016.

  43. 43.

    Translations by the author. Huterer, ‘Strategie ist möglich’, 2013, p. 270.

  44. 44.

    Ibid.

  45. 45.

    Stewart, ‘Germany’, 2013, p. 23.

  46. 46.

    Ibid.

  47. 47.

    Romanova and Pavlova, ‘What Modernisation?’, 2014, p. 511.

  48. 48.

    Makarychev and Meister, ‘Modernisation Debate’, 2014, pp. 80–81.

  49. 49.

    Spanger, ‘Modernisierungspartnerschaft’, 2012, p. 399.

  50. 50.

    Cf. Heinz Timmermann, ‘EU-Russland: Hintergründe und Perspektiven einer schwierigen Beziehung’, integration (2008), 159–78.

  51. 51.

    Cf. Stewart, ‘Germany’, 2013.

  52. 52.

    Cf. Angela Stent, ‘US–Russia Relations in the Second Obama Administration’, Survival, 54.6 (2012), 123–38.

  53. 53.

    Interview with European Commission official in Brussels, 30.05.2016.

  54. 54.

    Cf. Knut Fleckenstein, ‘The EU-Russia Modernisation Partnership—What’s in It?’, in Selected Articles on Modernisation and Innovation in Russia, ed. by Mäkinen, p. 3.

  55. 55.

    Adomeit, Russlands “Modernisierungspartnerschaften”, 2011, p. 47.

  56. 56.

    Adomeit, Russlands “Modernisierungspartnerschaften”, 2011, p. 48.

  57. 57.

    Romanova and Pavlova, ‘What Modernisation?’, 2014, p. 511.

  58. 58.

    David and Romanova, ‘Modernisation in EU–Russian Relations’, 2015, p. 4.

  59. 59.

    Council of the European Union, Joint Statement, 2010.

  60. 60.

    Romanova and Pavlova, ‘What Modernisation?’, 2014, p. 506.

  61. 61.

    Hugues Mingarelli and Andrei Slepnev, Progress Report Agreed by the Coordinators of the EU-Russia Partnership for Modernisation for Information to the EU-Russia Summit of 7 December 2010 (2010) http://eeas.europa.eu/archives/docs/russia/docs/eu_russia_progress_report_2010_en.pdf [accessed 13 April 2019]; Gunnar Wiegand and Andrei Slepnev, Progress Report Agreed by the Coordinators of the EU-Russia Partnership for Modernisation for Information to the EU-Russia Summit of 9–10 June 2011 (2011) http://www.eeas.europa.eu/archives/delegations/russia/documents/news/20110610_01_en.pdf [accessed 19 April 2019]; Gunnar Wiegand and Alexey Likhachev, Progress Report Agreed by the Coordinators of the EU-Russia Partnership for Modernisation for Information to the EU-Russia Summit of 21 December 2012 (2012) http://www.eeas.europa.eu/archives/docs/russia/docs/2012_p4m_progress_report_signed_en.pdf [accessed 14 April 2019]; Gunnar Wiegand and Alexey Likhachev, Progress Report Approved by the Coordinators of the EU-Russia Partnership for Modernization for information to the EU-Russia Summit on 28 January 2014 (2014) https://web.archive.org/web/20140705232631/https://eeas.europa.eu/russia/docs/eu_russia_progress_report_2014_en.pdf [accessed 19 April 2019].

  62. 62.

    European Council, EUCO 158/14: Statement by the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and the President of the European Commission in the name of the European Union on the agreed additional restrictive measures against Russia, 29 July (Brussels, 2014) http://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/22015/144158.pdf [accessed 17 March 2018].

  63. 63.

    ‘Russia-EU Relations Need a Gas Pedal Rather Than Reset Button’, Amber Bridge, 13 December 2011.

  64. 64.

    Barroso, EU-Russian Relations, 2012.

  65. 65.

    Romanova and Pavlova, ‘What Modernisation?’, 2014, p. 505.

  66. 66.

    Laure Delcour, The EU and Russia’s Modernisation: One Partnership, Two Views, International Affairs at LSE Blog (2011) http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/ideas/2011/04/the-eu-and-russia%e2%80%99s-modernisation-one-partnership-two-views/ [accessed 8 March 2018].

  67. 67.

    Delcour, EU and Russia’s Modernisation, 2011.

  68. 68.

    Cf. Katinka Barysch, ‘The EU-Russia Partnership for Modernisation’, in The EU-Russia Modernisation Partnership , The EU-Russia Centre Review (2010), pp. 28–32; Marina Larionova, ‘Can the Partnership for Modernisation Help Promote the EU–Russia Strategic Partnership?’, European Politics and Society, 16.1 (2014), 62–79.

  69. 69.

    Translations by the author. ‘Die deutsch-russische Modernisierungspartnerschaft’, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 30 May 2010.

  70. 70.

    Interview with Polish diplomat in Brussels, 23.03.2016.

  71. 71.

    Interview with European Commission official in Brussels, 30.05.2016.

  72. 72.

    Romanova and Pavlova, ‘What Modernisation?’, 2014.

  73. 73.

    Tatiana Romanova, ‘The Partnership for Modernisation Through the Three Level-of-Analysis Perspectives’, European Politics and Society, 16.1 (2014), 45–61 (p. 54).

  74. 74.

    Romanova, ‘Partnership for Modernisation’, 2014, p. 54.

  75. 75.

    Ibid.

  76. 76.

    Ibid.

  77. 77.

    Romanova and Pavlova, ‘What Modernisation?’, 2014, p. 501. They mention 24 MPs including Germany, but only because they count Germany twice with the October 2008 declaration and the agreement of Economic Ministers in 2010.

  78. 78.

    Ibid.

  79. 79.

    Romanova and Pavlova, ‘What Modernisation?’, 2014, p. 506.

  80. 80.

    Cf. Barysch, ‘EU-Russia Partnership’, 2010.

  81. 81.

    Delcour, EU and Russia’s Modernisation, 2011.

  82. 82.

    Romanova, ‘Partnership for Modernisation’, 2014, p. 54. For an overview of positions of member states, cf. Romanova and Pavlova, ‘What Modernisation?’, 2014, p. 509.

  83. 83.

    Romanova and Pavlova, ‘What Modernisation?’, 2014, p. 511.

  84. 84.

    Romanova and Pavlova, ‘What Modernisation?’, 2014, p. 500.

  85. 85.

    Interview with German diplomat in Brussels, 09.03.2016.

  86. 86.

    Iris Kempe, ‘Die EU und Russland’, in Jahrbuch der Europäischen Integration 2011, ed. by Werner Weidenfeld and Wolfgang Wessels, 1st edn (Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2012), pp. 317–22.

  87. 87.

    Wilson, Rostov Summit, 2010.

  88. 88.

    Interview with Polish diplomat in Brussels, 23.03.2016.

  89. 89.

    Ćwiek-Karpowicz and Formuszewicz, Partnership, 2010, p. 230.

  90. 90.

    Guido Westerwelle and Radosław Sikorski, ‘“Europa endet nicht an der Ostgrenze Polens”’, Tagesspiegel, 5 November 2010.

  91. 91.

    Cf. for overview on these efforts: Andrzej Turkowski, The Polish-German Tandem, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Washington, DC, 2011) http://carnegieendowment.org/2011/11/17/polish-german-tandem/7wgo [accessed 14 April 2019]; Jarosław Ćwiek-Karpowicz, Polish Foreign Policy Toward its Eastern Neighbors: Is a Close Cooperation with Germany Possible?, DGAPanalyse kompakt 6 (Berlin, 2011) https://dgap.org/en/think-tank/publications/dgapanalyse-compact/polish-foreign-policy-toward-its-eastern-neighbors [accessed 18 December 2018]; Stefan Meister, German Eastern Policy: Is a Partnership with Poland Possible?, DGAPanalyse kompakt 7 (2011) https://dgap.org/en/think-tank/publications/dgapanalyse-compact/german-eastern-policy [accessed 18 December 2018].

  92. 92.

    Federal Foreign Office, German, Polish and Russian Foreign Ministers Meet in Berlin, 20 March (Berlin, 2012) https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/newsroom/news/120320-trialog/249316 [accessed 16 December 2018].

  93. 93.

    Interview with Polish diplomat in Warsaw, 17.05.2016.

  94. 94.

    Huterer, ‘Strategie ist möglich’, 2013, p. 271.

  95. 95.

    Romanova, ‘Partnership for Modernisation’, 2014, p. 54.

  96. 96.

    Romanova and Pavlova, ‘What Modernisation?’, 2014, p. 511.

  97. 97.

    Interview with French official in Paris, 23.11.2016.

  98. 98.

    Romanova and Pavlova, ‘What Modernisation?’, 2014, p. 510.

  99. 99.

    Cf. for overview of France’s position towards Russia at that time: Le Noan, France, 2013; Marie Mendras, Russia–France: A Strained Political Relationship, Russian Analytical Digest 130 (2013) http://www.css.ethz.ch/content/dam/ethz/special-interest/gess/cis/center-for-securities-studies/pdfs/RAD-130-2-8.pdf [accessed 18 December 2018]; Thomas Gomart, ‘France’s Russia Policy: Balancing Interests and Values’, The Washington Quarterly, 30.2 (2007), 147–55; Isabelle Facon, ‘La relation France-Russie à l’épreuve’, Annuaire français de relation internationales, 16 (2015), 117–31 https://www.frstrategie.org/web/documents/publications/autres/2015/2015-facon-afri-relation-france-russie.pdf; Sénat, Les relations avec la Russie. Comment sortir de l’impasse?: Part A: L’histoire récente et ses occasions manquées (Paris, 2015) http://www.senat.fr/rap/r15-021/r15-0214.html [accessed 18 December 2018].

  100. 100.

    Romanova and Pavlova, ‘What Modernisation?’, 2014, p. 509.

  101. 101.

    Delcour, EU and Russia’s Modernisation, 2011.

  102. 102.

    Romanova, ‘Partnership for Modernisation’, 2014, p. 54.

  103. 103.

    Interview with British expert in Brussels, 08.03.2016.

  104. 104.

    Cf. European Council, The President, PCE 110/10: Remarks by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, at the EU-Russia Summit, 1 June (Rostov-on-Don, 2010) https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/27756/114736.pdf [accessed 9 March 2018] (p. 2).

  105. 105.

    Interview with German diplomat in Warsaw, 20.05.2016.

  106. 106.

    Interview with British expert in Brussels, 08.03.2016.

  107. 107.

    Forsberg and Haukkala, European Union and Russia, 2016, 91.

  108. 108.

    Huterer, ‘Strategie ist möglich’, 2013, p. 270.

  109. 109.

    Cf. Justyna Gotkowska, The German-Russian Modernisation PartnershipFailing to Meet Great Expectations, OSW Analyses (Warsaw, 2010) https://www.osw.waw.pl/en/publikacje/analyses/2010-07-21/german-russian-modernisation-partnership-failing-to-meet-great [accessed 9 March 2018]; Hannes Adomeit, ‘Russlands “Modernisierungspartnerschaften”: Ursprünge, Inhalte und Erfolgsaussichten’, in Russland modernisiert sich—oder doch nicht?, ed. by Hannes Adomeit, Sozialwissenschaftliche Schriftenreihe, 36/37 (Vienna: Internationales Institut für Liberale Politik Wien, 2011), pp. 25–72.

  110. 110.

    Cf. Susan Stewart, Die deutsch-russische Modernisierungspartnerschaft: Skepsis angebracht, Kurz gesagt, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (Berlin, 2011) https://www.swp-berlin.org/kurz-gesagt/die-deutsch-russische-modernisierungspartnerschaft-skepsis-angebracht/ [accessed 14 April 2019]; Alena V. Ledeneva, Can Russia Modernise?: Sistema, Power Networks and Informal Governance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).

  111. 111.

    Fischer, ‘EU-Russia Relations’, 2013, 29.

  112. 112.

    Interview with German diplomat in Berlin, 09.08.2016.

  113. 113.

    Meister, ‘Entfremdete Partner’, 2012, p. 481.

  114. 114.

    Makarychev and Meister, ‘Modernisation Debate’, 2014, pp. 80–81.

  115. 115.

    Fabian Burkhardt, ‘Neopatrimonialisierung statt Modernisierung: Deutsche Russlandpolitik plus russischer otkat’, Osteuropa, 63.8 (2013), 95–106.

  116. 116.

    Forsberg and Haukkala, European Union and Russia, 2016, p. 33.

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Fix, L. (2021). The EU-Russia Partnership for Modernisation 2010: Germany as Agenda-Setter. In: Germany’s Role in European Russia Policy. New Perspectives in German Political Studies. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-68226-2_3

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