Winning the normative war with Russia: An EU-Russia Power Audit

Author (Person)
Series Title
Series Details May 2018
Publication Date 21/05/2018
ISBN 978-1-911544-58-6
Content Type ,


+ The EU and Russia have become locked in an open battle over the norms of international conduct. This was a clash between liberal universalism and authoritarian statism; the liberal international order and realpolitik.

+ Russia’s interference in European internal affairs was one front line in this normative battle – Moscow’s attempt to erode the Western liberal consensus from within.

+ Russia supported anti-establishment forces in Europe because it lacked friends among establishments. Its use of unconventional methods was not a demonstration of creative strategy but an attempt to compensate for deficiencies.

+ EU member states were remarkably united in their assessment of Russia, but they still needed to translate this unity into a political strategy that reflected not just European values, but also Russian realities.

+ The path to winning the overall normative war would not go so much through countering Russia as through improving Europe’s resilience and reinvigorating the Western model.

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ESO: Find further information in ESO on relatios between Russia and the European Union

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