Can the Partnership for Modernisation Help Promote the EU–Russia Strategic Partnership?
The Partnership for Modernisation (P4M) launched by Russia and the European Union (EU) in 2010 was expected to promote reform and give renewed momentum to their relationship, develop cooperation on trade, economy and energy security, to support growth and contribute to the global economic recovery. Four years and seven summits after its birth the P4M is established as an institution with a capacity for coordination and governance of priorities and interests, a catalysing effect for advancing investment and a potential to contribute to building the Common Spaces (CSs). But the progress has been uneven. The P4M has not served to help transform the EU–Russia relations into a truly strategic partnership. This article explores different dimensions of the P4M genesis, development and impact on the partners' relations in several steps. First, it briefly introduces Russia's modernisation initiative. Second, it has a look at the expectations of the P4M at its launch. Third, it focuses on the progress the P4M has made so far and its relationship with the EU–Russia CSs by comparing the narratives of both. It explores in particular how the P4M has advanced by sectors and whether it has helped advance or has the potential to advance the EU–Russia CS dialogues. The article concludes with reflections on whether the P4M has had an impact on the EU–Russia strategic partnership.