Resilience in EU discourse: A new norm in relations with Russia?
This article examines the impact of the crisis in Russia-EU relations on the European Union’s articulation of the resilience concept and analyzes how its incorporation into the EU foreign policy strategy has affected the BrusselsMoscow relationship. Academic concepts of resilience and constructivism provided the theoretical basis for the research. The study of academic works made it possible to identify basic characteristics of resilience. This is an analytical (not regulatory) attribute of any system, and it is focused on the resources needed to overcome threats rather than on threats as such, with both threats and resources being inherent in the system. The study of the European Union’s discourse shows that it has adopted a different interpretation of resilience as a new norm (ascribed to democratic regimes only), with emphasis on threats rather than resources. These differences were caused, among other things, by the ongoing crisis in relations between the EU and Russia. Resilience as a new norm allows the EU to emphasize Russia’s “otherness” and thus assert its own identity as a normative leader. The focus on threats sets out a clear action plan for fighting threats associated with Russia. In Eastern Europe, resilience based on common threats emanating from Russia reinforces the EU’s approach towards transformations launched in these countries earlier. So, despite its theoretical potential, resilience, as construed by the European Union, does not allow Russia and the EU to overcome the current crisis in their relations. © 2019, Foreign Policy Research Foundation. All rights reserved.