The project has been carried out as part of the HSE Program of Fundamental Studies.
This project was implemented within the framework of the HSE's Basic Research Programme.
Research object: The dynamics of political and economic development of the European Union at the current stage.
Research purpose: To reveal the main factors determining the EU's development under the conditions of political and economic crisis and to elaborate new methodological approaches to the assessment and analysis of the EU's development and to the forecasting of its major future trends.
Empirical Base of the Research: Monthly reviews on EU economic and political development and official documents of various EU institutions.
- A new theoretical approach to European studies has been elaborated, which provides an opportunity to reveal key economic and political factors determining the EU's development under the conditions of the current economic crisis.
- A methodology has been proposed to study internal political processes within the EU as well as to forecast possible changes and to estimate prospects for future development.
- New theoretical models have been developed and possible future scenarios of the EU's development were elaborated on the basis of the analysis of the key factors determining the EU's evolution.
Despite its strong economic potential and social and cultural attractiveness, the EU isn’t capable of attaining leadership status on a global scale. Under the crisis, the EU is concentrated today on solving fundamental internal problems. External economic and political activity is dedicated to these problems as well. In 2012, the trend of “economization” of relations with foreign countries occurred for the purpose of forcing economic growth.
The main problems of the EU's development include a leadership deficit, political and economic divergence within the EU, and destructive competition between institutions. The question of whether countries are ready to waive part of their sovereignty remains crucial. Nowadays, national interests continue to play the key role in the member states' policy.
Reforms are pushed not by internal preferences but by external forces and panic inside the EU. Consensus on the direction the reforms are to take is still to be achieved. Despite the crisis's tightening noose, a lack of uniformity in the positions of the different member states exists. Until this is overcome, the EU won’t be able to get out of the systemic crisis and restore its own influence. At the moment, the scenario of a Union immersed in a “Eurosclerosis” equal to that of the period from the end of the 1960s to the early 1980s is quite real.
Implementation of the Research Results: The main results of the research can be implemented within both academic activity and the practice of governance. The new knowledge attained through the research is widely used in the educational process by the HSE's Department of World Economy and International Affairs (in the courses European Policy and Institutions of the European Union, The European Union: Theory and Practice of Governance, International Relations and Energy Policy of the European Union, Analysis and Forecasting of European Union Activity (research seminar), Main Directions of the Activity of the European Union, The Internal Market and the Law of the European Union, Russia-EU relations, Theory of International Relations, Methodology of International Relations and External Policy Studies, and Conditions of Entrepreneurial Activity and the Representation of Interests in the European Union).
International Partners: Thierry de Montebriale, President of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI); Thomas Gomart, Vice-president of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI); and Hans-Joachim Spanger, Head of the Research Group of the Peace Research Institute, Frankfurt, Germany