Finnish-Russian BCB in European Context by Jussi Laine

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Finnish-Russian BCB in European Context by Jussi Laine

  1. 1. Finnish-Russian CBC in a European Context 4th European Border Dialogues Forum on Cross Border Cooperation in a Wider Europe Joensuu, November 20, 2013 Jussi Laine Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland Association for Borderlands Studies EUBORDERSCAPES (290775) is Funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme (FP7-SSH-2011-1), Area 4.2.1 The evolving concept of borders
  2. 2. Conclusions Thanks to the changes in governance modes, the state no longer the primary actor, nor is the nation-state the only conception of space to be applied in explaining human interaction Multiplication of extra-national channels for subnational activity Implementation of various CBC schemes National territories becoming deterritorialized While the territorial sovereignty of the nation-states continue to form one of the leading principles upon which international relations are based... ...transnational relations are run increasingly by actors whose ability to function do not stop at the political border From an exclusive concern with the borders between States in the international system to the study of borders at diverse socio-spatial and geographical scales
  3. 3. Premise Finland’s post-WW II relationship with USSR/RUSSIA been both close and distant – at times both at the same time Shaped by the common history, Cold War realities, pragmatism, interdependencies and lessons learned from armed conflicts The 1948“YYA-pact”– the principle of “official friendship” Friendship put in practice also through paradiplomatic links Collapse of USSR: New Treaty and Neighbouring Area Cooperation EU era: Bilateral CBC became a part of the broader dynamics of international politics and EU-Russia relations
  4. 4. General Trend
  5. 5. Border Crossing at Vaalimaa
  6. 6. Border Crossings
  7. 7. Crossing by Finns
  8. 8. Neighboring Area Cooperation • Designed for a period of transition • Practical manifestation of the 1992 treaty on Good Neighborliness and Cooperation. • Technical assistance a principal element of the activities • CSOs played a key role in project implementation • 2004 Strategy: From Support to Partnership • Post-EU enlargement: Neighboring Areas = Russia • 2008 Action Plan: bilateral CBC increasingly linked with a wider platforms • 2013 replaced by more multilateral EU programs ENPI CBC
  9. 9. Neighboring Area Cooperation 1990-2012: a total of EUR 326 million allocated to cooperation with Russia
  10. 10. NAC Gratuitous aid for NGOs
  11. 11. EUropeanization • Redefinition of rules, norms, and practices that aim to ‘Europeanize’ national spaces in order to create a ‘common’ set of discourses in which various policy issues can be negotiated (Clark & Jones 2008). • Finland Post-1995: new supra-national administrative structures put in place in the development of Finnish-Russian relations o o • evident in the national and regional level administrative discussion concerning CBC policies signaled deeper and broader changes in political perspectives Conditions governing CBC faced a significant transformation o State controlled bilateral relations came to an end • Bilateral cooperation became part of EU-Russia relations o border became more open on a regional level o CBC projects streamlined to match with the EU policy frames
  12. 12. Program tools • EU led CBC with Russia: two main program tracks: o o • Technical assistance for the Commonwealth of Independent States (Tacis,1991) Community initiative INTERREG (1990) INTERREG III (2000–2006): clear shift towards the politics of pre-enlargement, promoting CBC on the external borders o Russia addressed in the same pre-enlargement discourse than the candidate countries o Target of Europeanization and promotion of European values • Program mismatch: INTERREG vs. Tacis • Wider Europe — Neighborhood (2003) - single approach to CBC • EU-RUS Common Spaces (2003), Road Maps (2005) • ENP (2004) • ENPI programs (2006, implementation 2009) • ENI (2014)
  13. 13. ENP/ENPI • Increased mutual interdependency necessitates cross-border linkages • Creation of a transnational space beyond the EU’s external border • Competition between cooperation and security oriented agendas o o • E.g. The post-Treaty of Lisbon development of the Common Security and Defense Policy Gap between the proposed geopolitical vision and its translation into action Unseen premium placed on civil society contacts o • regional cooperation not only about ‘high politics’, encompass also social and cultural issues CBC a key priority of ENPI, yet only some 5 % of the total ENPI budget for 2007–2013 allocated at CBC programs
  14. 14. Impacts • Thanks to the institutionalisation of CBC, relationships especially between regional level officials and authorities have improved • In comparison with high-level geopolitics, more bottom-up CBC developing forward, cultivating varying degrees of interdependence • EU not just handing out money, working towards creating a positive context and a forum for regional dialogue beyond the bilateral agenda colored by history • New opportunities, yet difficult to grasp • EU funding has made CBC increasingly project-based • While EU provides bigger circles and increased political and economic leverage, bilateral CBC serves to maintain the ‘special relationship’, pragmatic cooperation • Russian regions adjacent to the Finnish border perceived, as our neighbourhood, • Still, the future trajectory whereby binational cooperation would rely entirely on support from Brussels sounds very unnatural. Especially as long as there are no practical means to distribute EU funds to the local level where much of the work is carried out
  15. 15. Mixed Messages • EU’s rhetorical commitment to CBC subordinated to the dictates of geopolitical realism o also downplayed by the apparent gap between Brussels and the grassroots • EU seems to have lost some of its faith in its ability to influence the transformation process in Russia o and to some extent also in capacity of CBC to serve as a means to this end o retreat precisely where it should not be – at the level of sociology-cultural communication • Post-Lisbon securitisation: new ‘realism’ in EU foreign policy o from ‘ring of friends’ to ‘secure neighbourhood’
  16. 16. Concerns? • Despite its noble rhetoric, Europeanization of CBC tends to confirm the existing differences between the EU and non-EU members – non-Europeanization! • NAC program terminated • ENPI CBC is not properly equipped to deal with the overall context within which Finnish-Russian cooperation takes place • Despite the rhetorical statements suggesting otherwise, the EUropeanisation of FIN-RUS CBC may become underfunded, more technocratic • EU still lacks effective means to channel its assistance to where it would be needed the most • Funding that is better directed, more easily accessible, and more reliable is needed where the practical knowledge and expertise is
  17. 17. New Avenues • EU developed a systematic framework for implementing CBC projects that involves a bureaucratic process of implementation o channels support largely through state structures • Demands bureaucratic discipline, which includes budgeting, auditing, monitoring • Subordinates e.g. non-state actors to state agencies at the different levels • Regional Councils thus play a strong strategic and political role in CBC • Plus: ENPI CBC programs are governed regionally • Minus: EU’s focus on budgetary control, administrative standardization, and security issues promote bureaucratic practices and policies of conditionality that tend to complicate cooperation. • EU’s normative power as a ‘democratizer’ and ‘stabilizer’ not only exercised explicitly through formal policy avenues but also through more subtle and informal channels

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