EU-Russian Relations in Justice and Home Affairs: A Mismatch between Form and Content?
The chapter overviews the development of the EU-Russia cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs (JHA). Taking as a starting point the agreement to create the four common spaces in 2003, including the Common Space of Freedom, Security and Justice, the paper traces how the incorporation of the visa-free regime prospects into the Road Map for the Common Space has had a lasting impact on all further collaborative attempts before the freeze of cooperation in early 2014. Being an instance of policy conditionality which the EU often applies to the countries whose membership prospects are off the table, visa waiver prospects has restructured relations between the EU and Russia from being equitable (as initially presupposed by the common spaces) to strictly hierarchical. Moreover, with time passing by the EU was able to use this instrument not only in relation to the areas of cooperation directly linked to visa arrangements but also to the issues of security and justice which had been initially left to the network governance approach in the Road Map – a subtler and less hierarchical mode of the EU external governance. This creeping approach reached its climax in late 2013 when the Commission stopped hiding its resolve to use policy conditionality and coupled it with the value-loaded rhetoric of classical political conditionality, effectively bringing the cooperation on the verge of a stalemate. Paradoxically, the major breakthroughs in EU-Russia cooperation in JHA owe exactly to this policy conditionality whereas the network governance mode has borne almost no fruit to this day.