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Theoretical aspects of the European Union key issues and new trends of European integration development

Priority areas of development: economics
The project has been carried out as part of the HSE Program of Fundamental Studies.

The issues of economic and political development of the European project are of special research interest for both authentic and international authors. In the context of systemic crisis, the European Union faces a number of challenges and threats. That is the quintessence of research question. The unfavorable economic situation reveals contradictions among the Member States regarding the future development of European integration. It becomes a serious impediment for consensus and pushes the European Union up to more flexible methods of integration. In this way the question appears of how these methods are suitable to address the challenges and threats facing the European Union.

The object of research is the European Union and the new trends of the European integration development.

The goal of research is to implement a comprehensive analysis and to theoretically determine latest trends of political and economic development of the European Union in the context of challenges arising. The conclusions of research may be used also for the forecast of possible changes in the EU, as well as of its cooperation with key international partners. It is important to identify potential vectors of development of the European integration and to argue on the necessity of the European Union reform with a special view on key positions of the Member States.

The principle of continuity provides an opportunity to proceed with the methodology which is based on the previous research experience. The study of the European Union and the European integration process as a complex phenomenon requires the use of a synthetic approach that takes into account provisions of international relations theory (realism, neo-realism, neoclassical realism, as well as, to a lesser extent, the liberal idealism, constructivism), the theory of integration (especially intergovernmental approach, neofunctionalism and federalism), and the neo-institutionalism and theories of political elites and networks as the approaches used to analyze the transformation of the state. This approach allows to better reflect both the general trend towards deepening integration, mostly in financial and economic sphere, as well as systemic contradictions between the interests of various Member States, forcing the EU institutions to resort to flexible methods of integration.

The empirical base of the study includes current economic and political developments both at the level of the European Union and EU member states. These events are accessed on the basis of legal acts and policy documents of the EU and Member States; statements; reports of research centers. An important component of the study is regular monitoring of the media, including newspapers, television and news feeds in the Internet. Given the specificity of this study, priority will be given to the European media, as well as to media of the EU Member States. Along with this monitoring of Russian sources was implemented. The comparison of the various positions of the Member States leaders, EU institutions, leading research centers on the assessment of the current events that can serve as an indicator of the controversial nature of modern integration is also relevant.

An important methodological significance consists in analysis of results and prospects of the EU political economy through the prism of power relations in the EU and commitment of individual Member States to promote their own national economic and foreign policy interests strengthening their national sovereignty in terms of institutional crisis.

As a result, the research group of the project has been carried out on the yield forecast of the challenges and threats that the Eurasian integration will face in the future, as well as on recommendations aimed at improving the institutional framework and deepening integration within the EAEC. Political consequences for Russia were revealed, as well as the possibility of implementing its own foreign policy strategy in the context of crisis, taking into account the contradictions among the EU Member States and limited instruments of the EU foreign policy.

The results of the research can be used by public institutions dealing with analysis and planning of the EU development and the EU-Russia relations as well as development of structures and mechanisms of Eurasian integration. Moreover, the results are important for further research on this topic and can be used in the educational process at the HSE Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs.



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