30.06.2004 - AEGEE discusses the EU-Russia relations after the latest EU enlargement
Press Release - AEGEE discusses the EU-Russia relations

From the 2nd until 11th of July 2004, in the cities of Moscov and St. Peterbourg, AEGEE will organise its first large-scale international conference devoted to Russia-European Union relations in the field of culture and politics after the latest EU enlargement. The Conference will bring together Russian and European students, scientists, diplomats and experts in the field of international relations in order to analyse and to discuss cultural and political relationships between EU and Russia.

For over one week, 30 students from all over Europe will be given the chance to tackle numerous subjects concerning Russian Identity vs. European Identity, the future of Russian-EU relations, opportunities and problems of Eastern Enlargement of EU, the European Union neighbourhood policy in relation to Russia. During the workshops the participants will try to come up with several proposals - for action to improve the public attitude in Russia towards European Integration and for promotion of co-operation between the EU and Russia.

Discussions will be led and facilitated by a great number of prominent speakers like Clelia Rontoyanni from Political Section at the Delegation of the European Commission to Russia, Valery Minaev - Rector of the Russian State University for the Humanities, Vincent Piket from the Delegation of the European Commission in Russia, Andreas von Mettenheim - Plenipotentiary Minister of Germany, professors from the Russian Academy of Science, Saint-Petersburg and Moscow State Universities, Gdansk University of Business and Management in Poland, as well as Dutch, Spanish and German Embassy officials to the Russian Federation and the British Embassy representatives. The event is planned to be also attended by Russian journalists.

“We have very high expectations towards this conference” - says Olivier Genkin, manager of the EU and Europe project of International Politics Working Group of AEGEE-Europe. – “First of all, in terms of articulation of the participants' understanding of the European Identity(-ies) and developing deeper knowledge and understanding of attitudes in the EU towards the target regions and vice-versa. We will discuss the differences in those regions, but also the similarities and opportunities towards the EU, European integration in general and international co-operation”. The important expected result, however, is also strengthening the AEGEE network, as well as increasing its visibility in Russia, and creating links between AEGEE and other institutions and organisations.

A great deal of aims stands behind the EU and Europe project. The project is composed of a series of conferences in different European countries, and aims at analysis of the relations between enlarged EU and its new neighbours, after the most significant and biggest enlargement ever. The Opening Conference Europe's (Torn?) Identity (Ljubljana, Slovenia), The Future of Europe (Athina, Greece), Mediating Europe, BY, Between and Beyond - Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine & EU (Minsk, Belarus) have already taken place. The ones still to come this year are Russia & EU (Moskva and Sankt Petersburg, Russia), Bulgaria, Romania & EU(Cluj-Napoca, Romania), Turkey & EU ( Izmir, Turkey), Western Balkans & EU (Banja Luka and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina) and EFTA & EU (Oslo, Norway).

AEGEE is one of Europe's largest interdisciplinary and voluntary student associations, operating without being linked to any political party, promoting a unified Europe, cross-border co-operation, communication and integration in academic environment, and at the same time striving to create an open and tolerant society by involving students and young graduates in valuable projects and discussions over the topics of importance for the communities they live in. It is represented in 260 university cities, in 42 countries all around Europe and has about 17000 members.

More information:
Ewa Solarczyk
Vice-President / Director for Public Relations, AEGEE-Europe
Email: [log in to unmask]

European Students' Forum - AEGEE
Rue Nestor de Tiere 15
1030 Bruxelles
Phone: +32 2 245 23 00
Fax: +32 2 245 62 60
Web: www.aegee.org