Updated at 14:58,21-10-2016

Expert: Europe is weaker than Russia in its competition for bordering countries

21-05-2012, 22:08
Expert: Europe is weaker than Russia in its competition for bordering countries
Joerg Forbrig

Europe is less competitive for the neighboring countries than Russia, the director of the Foundation for Democracy in Belarus of the German Marshall Fund Joerg Forbrig believes.

This thesis in an interview with ARU TV Forbrig substantiated by three factors. In his opinion, the EU is weaker than Russia institutionally and structurally, as the European Union includes 27 member countries with their own interests.

In addition, the EU has no eastern policy.

"For 30 years, the EU has been trying to create such a policy (now called the Eastern Partnership), but so far it hasn't been effective", the expert said. In his view, this policy will be developed as the response to Russia's actions. But now the countries which joined the European Union, are interested and involved in this region, in particular, Poland.

"It should be noted, as a result of the crisis, the European Union, also, could change in such a way, that the entry of new members will be a lot easier", Joerg Forbrig said.

The third reason, why the EU loses to Russia in the struggle for Belarus - the absence in the EU of political tools against the dictators.

"The whole policy was based on the fact, that your partner has an interest to cooperate. After December 2010 the EU is trying to develop such tools, and we must admit there is progress. We believe that sanctions are ineffective, but the process is running, and the train goes in this direction", the director of the Marshall Fund says, noting, he supports the policy of sanctions and expects that in future they will become more efficient.