“Bridging the EU and Russia”

Policy Conference of the EU Jean Monnet Network “Between the EU and Russia” (BEAR)

4, 11 and 18 May, 2021, online

Academic organizer: Prof. Maria Koinova, Professor in IR at the University of Warwick


This capstone series of Zoom events brings together Brussels practitioners and BEAR scholars to discuss the theme “Bridging the EU and Russia: Common Border(land) Issues and Prospects for the Future.” The Policy Conference and will be held over Zoom on May 4, May 11, and May 18, and will bring together panelists from 12 institutions in seven countries to discuss the themes of Eastern Partnership; Conflict Management in the EU Neighborhood, and Migration and Citizenship Politics. Each of the panels will be moderated by policymakers in Brussels.

The conference is free and open to all, but registration is required to receive the Zoom link for each respective event.

Recordings of all three events of the conference are now available here.



Hours below are listed in CET (Brussels) time:

4 May, 2021 (Tuesday): Register via Eventbrite here.

15:00-15:10 – Introduction to the BEAR network by Juliet Johnson, McGill University, Magdalena Dembinska, University of Montreal, and to the policy conference by Maria Koinova, University of Warwick.

15:10 – 16:10 – Eastern Partnership Panel

Juliet Johnson, McGill University: “Financial Nationalism in the EU’s East”

Tom Casier, Brussels School of International Studies: “The Ukraine Crisis: Further from a Solution and Closer to Escalation?”

Yulia Nikitina, Moscow State University of International Relations: “Dialogue between the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union”

Commentator (policy perspective): Vassilis Maragos, Head of Unit, European Commission, DG NEAR.

16:15 – 17:15 – Keynote Speech (Academic Perspective): Timothy Colton (Harvard University): “Russia and the EU in Light of Recent Thinking about International Regions”


11 May, 2021 (Tuesday): Register via Eventbrite here.

15:00 – 15:55 – Conflict Management in the EU Neighborhood Panel

Joan DeBardeleben, Carleton University: “EU’s Russia Policy: Are Crisis Management and ‘Small Steps’ Adequate?”

Eiki Berg, University of Tartu: “Can European Brakes Slow Down Russia’s Drive in Secessionist Conflicts?”

Richard Youngs, University of Warwick/Carnegie Europe: “Democracy, Conflict and Mediation: the Eastern Partnership’s Uneasy Triangle”

Commentator (policy perspective): Lawrence Meredith, Director, DG NEAR, Neighbourhood East, European Commission

16:00 – 17:00 – EU, Russia and Regional Dynamics Panel

Dimitar Bechev, Institute for Human Sciences (IWM), Vienna: “Russia’s Influence in Southeast Europe”

Anna Ohanyan, Stonehill College: “Between Liberal Peacebuilding and Militarization in “Post-Soviet” Conflicts in Eurasia: the Case of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict”

Commentator (policy perspective): Enrique Mora, Deputy Secretary-General for Policy Affairs, European Union External Action Service


18 May, 2021 (Tuesday): Register via Eventbrite here.

15:00 – 15:55 – Migration and Citizenship Politics Panel

Maria Koinova, University of Warwick: “Diaspora Politics and Conflict Processes in the European Neighborhood”

Oxana Shevel, Tufts University: “The Politics of Dual Citizenship in the Post-Soviet States”

Myra Waterbury, Ohio University: “The Policy Implications of Divided Nationhood in the European Neighborhood: Lessons from the Case of Hungary”

Commentator: Tom Snels, Deputy Head of Cabinet of the Commissioner for Home Affairs, European Commission

16:00 – 16:55 – EU, Russia and Minority Politics Panel

Zsuzsa Csergo, Queen’s University: “The Problem of Alienated Russophone Minorities Caught between the EU and Russia”

Jennie Schulze, Duquesne University: “Russia’s Soft Power Agenda and Public Diplomacy: Lessons from the Baltic States”

Kristina Kallas, University of Tartu: “Is Russian Minority a State Security Risk in the Baltic States?”

Commentator: Marina Kaljurand, Member of the European Parliament, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats

17:00 – 17:15 – Closing Remarks: Maria Koinova, conference organizer, University of Warwick; Juliet Johnson, McGill University; and Magdalena Dembinska, University of Montreal


End of conference


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