About

Quarter of the century on the academic service

The Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Sciences (IE RAS), was founded in 1987 as a result of the growing interest to the European region in the Soviet Union as a new academic center aimed at comprehensive research of the profound changes, taking place in Europe, and evaluation of their prospects and consequences. The Institute was founded by its present Director Emeritus, academician V.V. Zhurkin. In 1999-2014, it was headed by academician N.P. Shmelev. At present, the Institute’s Director is Dr. Al.A. Gromyko. In 1988-2001 the Institute of Europe was part of International Relations Department of RAS; in 2002-2010 – Social Sciences Department (International Relations section), since 2011 – Global Problems and International Relations Department.

In recent decades the European continent has gone through drastic changes: reunification of Germany, introduction of euro, new fundamental treaties, expansion from 12 to 28 member-states, strategic partnership with Russia. Acute and profound research of all these multidimensional processes helped the Institute to grow into a well-known Russian and international research center for European studies in a broad range of areas: political and economic integration, foreign policy, security, social, inter-civilizational, religious, party and political problems. On top of that, the Institute traditionally focuses on thorough research of European countries and regions. In the 1990s the Centers for German, French and Northern European studies were created. In the 2000s they were complemented by the Centers for British, Iberic, Ukrainian, Belorussian and other studies.

Throughout its history, the Institute has been an active publisher. Since the first half of the 1990s it regularly releases the Reports of IE RAS (more than 300 issues up to now). In 2000 the quarterly ”Contemporary Europe” journal was founded and soon received recognition of the Russian and international scientific society. In 2007 the unique series of collective monographs “The Old World – the New Times” were launched, now comprising 14 volumes.

Today the Institute is consistently involved in cross-disciplinary scientific research of political, economic, military, social and other problems of Europe. Significant part of the analytical work is dedicated to prognostics. The research results also take form of practical conclusions and recommendations, which are regularly presented by the Institute to a wide range of recipients, including the supreme authorities of the Russian Federation.

Its 25th anniversary in 2012 the Institute of Europe celebrated as one of the leading academic institutes among both state-owned and not state-owned establishments in Russia. The research potential that the Institute has accumulated assures the confident approach to its future.

Today the staff of the Institute numbers 84 employees, including one Academician of RAS, two Corresponding members of RAS, 21 Doctors of Science and 21 Candidates of Science. The Institute’s associates are fluent in 17 languages of the countries studied. The structure of the Institute includes seven Departments.

The main fields of research at the Institute are as follows:

  • the role and place of Russia in Europe, Eurasia, in the system of international relations;
  • geopolitical and economic processes in Europe and Eurasia in the XX-XXI centuries; regularities and specifics of economic development;
  • systems of security and cooperation, arms control in Europe, European institutions and Euro-Atlantic structures;
  • models of European and Eurasian integration;
  • regional processes in Europe and Eurasia, country studies;
  • social, religious, cultural dimensions of Europe;
  • evolution of European political processes, systems and institutions.

An important place in the analytic work of the Institute belongs to forecasting. The Institute keeps its fundamental and applied research at the level of practical conclusions and recommendations. The Institute regularly provides analytical reports and other materials to state authorities, institutions and organizations. The IE RAS associates render their expertise within the framework of cooperation with the Presidential Administration of Russia, the State Duma, the Council of the Federation, the Security Council of the Russian Federation, participate in the hearings of the Academic Council of the Russian Foreign Ministry.  

Since its first days the Institute held more than 400 international and all-Russian conferences, round table conferences and seminars. In 2014 the Institute associates have published appr. 300 papers, articles and books (30 of them – abroad) and made reports at 190 conferences. The IE RAS experts participate in the assessment of international research projects, are included in expert commissions of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, the Russian Humanitarian Science Foundation, the Russian Science Foundation; are members of editorial boards of major Russian and foreign academic journals. The IE RAS associates teach in leading universities of Russia; over the past five years individually or as co-authors they have published 25 textbooks covering the most important aspects of economic, political and social development of European countries and regions. The Institute maintains a postgraduate course and two dissertation councils. The Institute has a library, which contains tens of thousands of publications in Russian and European languages.


FROM THE HISTORY OF THE INSTITUTE OF EUROPE

Academician Vitaly Zhurkin

THE INSTITUTE OF EUROPE

(RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES).

THE MAIN SCIENTIFIC TRENDS

The Institute of Europe (IE) is the youngest among interdisciplinary academic centers, which were created for studying the main economic and geopolitical regions of the planet, relations between them and our country, analysis of its interests all over the world. All these institutes combine fundamental scientific research with elaborate practical conclusions and recommendations. The algorithm of the IE’s activity, which was begun in the end of 1987 – start of 1988, is the same.

The research of Europe was always a priority part of the Russian scientific and cultural tradition. It was conducted as before historical disputes of "Westerners" and "Slavophiles", as after them. The Russian science, culture, art were and remain the integral elements of the western civilization. However in Soviet times caused by irony, or speaking exactly by virtue of party and bureaucratic cobwebs, the European direction remained long time shattered and divided between various groups of researchers of international relations. Only with the beginning of perestroika and the sharp increase of interest to Europe and to the European experience the Institute of Europe was established in the Academy of Sciences.

The Institute was created to carry on the analysis of a number of major problems: first, economic, political, social, military and other processes in modern Europe; second, development of the European integration first of all in the field of economy – "the first pillar" of the European Community (the European Union – EU), and later two other "pillars" of the EU – common foreign and security policy, and also home policy and justice; third, place and role of Europe in modern world and probable new tendencies in 21st century; fourth, systems of relations between Russia and the largest countries of Europe, the EU, regions of Europe; fifth, the European direction of foreign policy of our state.

The first question which has risen for the small initiative group (it included at the beginning the writer of these lines, deputy director, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Shenaev and the head of department, soon becoming another deputy director, doctor of history Sergei Karaganov) was the following: what should be the major principle on which the Institute to be based? The variety of different variants was reduced to the alternative: whether to form the Institute on the geopolitical and geoeconomic model, to create departments of Germany, France, Britain, Scandinavia, paying less attention to the all-European problems or to form the research process around the large all-European programs, above all problems of European integration and security. Then intensive studying of the states and regions of Europe would be postponed for the future.

In thorough discussions many scientists have taken part. Among them were the present director of the IE, academician Nicolai Shmelev, the permanent head of integration studies, doctor of economics, professor Yury Borko, some of the oldest researches of the IE, doctor of history, professor Nicolai Kovalsky and doctor of economics, professor Valentin Kudrov; the first representatives of scientific youth who nowadays head departments, centers and sectors candidate of economics Vladislav Belov, candidate of economics Olga Butorina, candidate of economics Dmitry Danilov, doctor of economics Vadim Tsirenshchikov and other scientists. As a result almost all of them have preferred the second model of the IE’s construction. So the expansion of the Institute was carried out so to say by two "waves". And such approach was justified. On this way the Institute has found itself as the valuable scientific organization, has occupied a modest, but a worthy place in the academic system. Certainly, various spheres of its activity were developed unequally. Serious problems arose with gathering the scientific staff. Finally during five-six years about ten scientific directions were developed. And now they are determining the IE’s face in many respects.

The interdisciplinary group of researchers of process of the European integration was formed especially fast. Giving due respect to specialists in European integration in other academic centers and universities (as well as in general to all experts on Europe), it is valid to say that exactly the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences became the main Russian research center of processes of European integration in all its aspects.

The department, and now the Center for European Integration Studies, exists in the Institute from the time of creation, and doctor of economics Yury Borko has been heading it almost from the beginning. He is one of the experts from the older generation who have begun studying integration processes in Europe as far back as 1960s. It is necessary to emphasize, that besides the above mentioned department various aspects of the European integration are analyzed in other divisions and subdivisions studying problems of European security, regional cooperation in Europe, informatization in a modern society, the European economics. Academician Nicolai Shmelev and corresponding member Vladimir Shenaev have been working on these questions a lot. The latter has been engaging in the problems of the European integration for a long time, since 1960s. In 1993 he has published the monograph "Economy of the Western Europe". Nicolai Shmelev has thoroughly studied problems of integration as well.

Eight major themes are in the center of attention of the experts, working in this area: economic integration, political integration, the EU as a new type of the international organization, territorial expansion of the European integration, the EU and the external world, mutual relations between Russia and the EU, the European integration and the Western civilization, regional integration and globalization at the end of the 20s and in the first decades of the 21st centuries. Results of the research were presented in the series of monographs, many articles and reports.

But before discussing these works, it is necessary to mention the unique scientific-information publication, which was begun in 1994, – a quarter review "The European Union: Facts and Comments". It represents the compressed systematized report of everything that has taken place in the EU for the last quarter – on all spheres of its development. It should be taken into consideration that during several decades in our country it was a real vacuum of information on the European integration and the EU activity. The above mentioned review was the first Russian periodic publication supplying the governmental departments, scientific spheres and the higher school with the regular information and brief estimations of a situation in the EU.

The study of economic integration in Europe covers a broad spectrum of problems. From the beginning of 1990s the main theme of researches became a new stage of the integration – the creation of economic and currency union (ECU) and the transition to the unified currency which has received the name "euro". The chief researcher, doctor of economics Vladimir Shemyatenkov, the first ambassador of our country to the EU in the past, and the head of the sector, candidate of economics Olga Butorina are among the most competent Russian experts in the given field and have obtained a recognition in the West-European scientific circles. Vladimir Shemyatenkov is the author of the first Russian monograph on this subject: "Euro: Two Sides of One Medal" (Moscow, 1998). Olga Butorina has published many articles on problems of ECU and euro both in domestic magazines and abroad. As a confirmation of high authority of these experts they got a special grant of the Central bank of the Russian Federation to prepare the first analytical report on consequences of euro’s introduction for the currency and external economic policy of Russia. Also as proposed by the Delegation of the EU in Russia Olga Butorina has published the book "Euro: What is it?" (Moscow, 1999). The IE is focusing serious attention on studying some regional problems in the EU, their interrelation with economic integration that has found their reflection in scientific works of candidate of economics Irina Busygina and candidate of economics Natalia Kondratyeva.

In 1990s the need of researching integration processes in political sphere has sharply increased. It was caused by growing importance of problems of foreign policy and security, home affairs and justice in the activity of the EU institutions after the Maastricht and Amsterdam treaties.

The formation of the integration policy in the sphere of home affairs and justice is a comparatively new field of studies. It started developing only in 1990s though the processes themselves, which lie in the base of these policies, could be noticed at the first stages of the European integration. It relates, first of all, to immigration of foreign workers into the countries of the EU that obtained mass character from the end of 1950s. Terrorism, crime, drug trafficking have gained the international scale. The agreement, signed by first six EU members in Luxembourg in a small town Schengen in 1985, postulated eventually the freedom of movement in growing number of the countries of the Union and resulted in reinforcement of control on external borders of the EU. All these factors demand the creation of the appropriate new legislation. This group of problems became the object of studying not long ago, and the head of the sector, candidate of economics Olga Potemkina is one of the leading Russian specialists in this area. She has published lately a number of fundamental works. The new essential direction of research is reflected in the publication by the young expert Alexander Tevdoy-Burmuli "European Nationalism in the Context of European Integration".

The major component of the modern phase of European integration is its territorial expansion. In 1995 Austria, Finland and Sweden became the EU members. The membership of the majority of countries of Central and the Eastern Europe will become the main and fundamental new step on this way. First of them will join the EU, apparently, in 2004-2005. Thus the integration only now goes beyond the limits the West-European region and becomes the all-European process. One of the young experts, candidate of economics Svyatoslav Byhovsky is also engaged in the research on this subject.

One of central themes developed within the framework of integration research is mutual relations between Russia and the European Union. For a long time this subject was studied in the Institute by doctor of economics Boris Pichugin and doctor of economics Yury Borko. Chief researcher Boris Pichugin, who passed away several years ago, was one of the most knowledgeable Russian experts in this area. In Yury Borko's works dynamics of Russia – EU relations is analyzed mainly within the framework of the Agreement on partnership and cooperation (APС), which was signed by them in June 1994 and entered into force on December 1, 1997.

From numerous scientific publications of the Institute, which produced 11 monographs and altogether more than 160 books and articles devoted to the European integration, it is worth choosing two most significant. The first book "Looking into the 21st Century: the European Union and the Commonwealth of Independent States" is written by a group of authors including academicians Vitaly Zhurkin and Nicolai Shmelev, professors Yury Borko, Vladimir Shemyatenkov and others. They put before themselves the following tasks: to provide a contemporary interpretation of civilizational and social prerequisites for the European integration; to investigate the positive and negative factors influencing the dynamics of the CIS development; to determine possibilities of formation of the all-European economic space and the new system of security and cooperation in Europe with full, equal and active participation of Russia.

The theme of fundamental premises of regional integration is not enough developed in the domestic scientific literature dedicated to the European integration. Meanwhile the unique successes and features of the European integration in considerable measure are conditioned by several factors. All countries, which became members of the European communities, belong to the same civilization. The same world religion lies in the basis of their culture. The common societal system was established in them with similar basic characteristics: market economy, organized civil society, democratic and a lawful state, advanced system of social protection. In this sense the states - members of the CIS are more diverse, though they were a part of united Russian Empire for several centuries (as a minimum, one and a half centuries). In the opinion of the authors, intermediate term tasks of the CIS members are not so much economic integration (so far there are not enough objective and subjective conditions for this process), but promotion of economic, social and political stability on the basis of market and democratic transformations and formation of effective system of security and cooperation in the CIS space.

The second fundamental monograph "The European Union on the Threshold of 21st Century: Choosing Strategy of Development ", prepared by the collective of researches from the Institute with participation of scholars from other academic institutes, edited by Yury Borko and Olga Butorina, is devoted to analyzing the results of the EU development in 1990s and its future prospects in the beginning of 21st century. First of all the process of formation of the economic and currency union (ECU), which began in 1990 and started its final phase on January 1, 1999, is studied in this work. It contains the forecast of ECU development and prospects of euro as the EU collective currency. The present condition and prospects of development of partnership and cooperation between the EU and Russia are examined. The intermediate term (10-15 years) prognosis of development of the European economy and processes of the European integration are presented with the main conclusion that the EU will continue to move to more consolidated and integrated Europe, but by virtue of internal and external circumstances the tempo of its progress will be slower, than in 1980s and 1990s.

The study of the European integration processes was facilitated by the creation in the Institute in early 1990s on the initiative of the European Commission of the EU Center of Information and Documentation. It is operated by researchers Valentina Tyazhelova and Kseniya Sharapova-Antonova. There are over 30 thousand storage units in it. Young researchers Nicolai Kaveshnikov and Andrei Motkov successfully work on problems of integration.

Traditionally most unusual and interesting results appear at a joint of various sciences, and in one research center – at a joint of various scientific disciplines. At the joint of integration studies and analysis of problems of European security an interdisciplinary research of the EU common foreign policy, security and defence started actively developing. In 1994 Dmitry Danilov's work "Western Europe after Maastricht: Evolution of Security Integration" was published. Quite radical shifts in these areas took place in late 1990s. They facilitated intensive research. Conceptually these shifts were preceded by series of the EU summits during 1990s. Practically the radical turn – as it is more and more recognized now – took place after the French - British summit in a small French town Saint-Malo at the end of 1998. Germany, Italy and other members of the EU quickly joined the idea to create collective armed forces of the European Union, which was advanced at this summit. At the EU summits in Cologne and Helsinki this idea was given concrete expression, and the European security and defence policy began to get shaped as one of the priorities of the Union. Majority of politicians and experts understands that the implementation of this policy will be a difficult and long process. Nevertheless, an important (and possibly even historical) turn in this sphere of integration has taken place.

There was the radical turn to the study of these problems in the Institute of Europe. In a couple of years a number of works were published. Among them: "European Union: Foreign Policy, Security, Defence" (Moscow, 1998) by the author of this publication; "Europe in Multipolar World" (Moscow, 2000) by a group of authors; "Structurization of the Security Space in the West and East of Europe" (Moscow, 2000) by the head of Department of European Security Dmitry Danilov and the head of sector, candidate of history Arkady Moshes. The research work on this new direction is becoming more active.

Studies in European security are not limited to these new phenomena. It was sequentially conducted from the beginning of the Institute. A proper tribute was paid to the development of the concept of the common European home, though it existed only in a rather vague form. Nevertheless the general tendency of our country could be perceived. It was aimed at completing post-war confrontation and substituting the structures of bipolar world by a new system of security in Europe based on principles of equal cooperation. What should be a configuration of a new Greater Europe uniting former opponents in cold war? What elements of former system should be eliminated, and what are to be kept and transformed? What concretely such transformation should consist of and what should be its orientation in time? What are basic threats to the European security during postconfrontational period and how may the consolidated Europe confront these new challenges? There were only some of major questions, which had been waiting for answers.

The necessity to realize and to launch (along with basic research) studies of the broad spectrum of concrete problems of security has resulted in inviting experienced diplomats and military (Victor Vladimirov, Yury Deryabin, Vladimir Erofeev, Igor Maksimychev, Eugeny Malashenko, Yury Rubinsky and others). Their contribution to analytical work of the Institute is significant.

Initially the military-political problems played an important role in the work of the Institute. One of the first monographs prepared in the Institute was the work devoted to the role of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe and prospects of developing control in this sphere. A lot of attention was paid to studying defence policies in the countries of Europe, their military-political cooperation and integration, and after the disintegration of the USSR – to first steps aimed at construction of their own armed forces undertaken by the countries - participants of the CIS.

However due to the process of decreasing confrontation between the USSR (Russia) and the West and reducing the role of military factors in Europe, accents in the activity of the Institute began moving toward political-military, political and economic problems of security. The research on the architecture of European security aimed at developing the Russian approaches to this process, resulted in a great number of works on evolution of the European and Euro-Atlantic structures of security (OSCE etc.) and development of system of collective security in the CIS. One of the first monographs of the Institute "Security of Future Europe" (1993) ed. by doctor of history Sergei Karaganov, was devoted to these problems. Such important direction of studies as research into regional security and regional cooperation was developing quite successfully. A growing importance of untraditional, so-called "soft" challenges to the continental security, which are occupying the increasing place in the European strategic prognostication, is influencing the security studies expanding them by inclusion of ecological, migration problems, interethnic relations, in particular in the post-Soviet countries.

Naturally, the research carried out in the Institute, by virtue of its orientation at supporting the conceptual base of the Russian foreign policy, should be conducted in close contact with the official institutions, which formulate and realize the foreign policy of our country. The Institute continues to carry on not only the basic research, but also studies wide range of problems having immediate practical value. It sends to the interested ministries and departments analytical papers and reports, carries out "round tables" and situational analyses with participation of scholars and officials. When invited its members participate in discussions on problems of practical politics in divisions of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence, Security Council, State Duma etc.

Among priority areas of studies one should indicate here first of all the analysis of the European security architecture, ways and forms of its possible transformation; relations between Russia and the major Western organizations – NATO, WЕU, EU; problems of enhancing stability and structural organization of security in Central and Eastern Europe, in the Baltic sea region; contemporary crises and conflicts both on the west of the continent and on the post-Soviet space; problems and practice of the international peace-making activity and Russian participation in it.

Special place in research of present Russian policies was occupied by the sharpest problems caused by the expansion of NATO, its aggressive actions in the Balkans, Bosnia and Kosovo crises.

The authority of experts of the Institute engaged in problems of the European security is high not only in our country, but abroad as well. I’d like to bring only one example. The joint research project of the Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Sciences and the Institute for Security Studies of Western-European Union (Paris), devoted to relations between Western Europe and Russia (from our side it was conducted by Dmitry Danilov), resulted in the publication of "Challiot Papers", the series widely known all over the world. The joint report, alongside with official French and English languages, was published in the language of the third country – Russian for the first time in the history of "Challiot Papers". The report received a very good response in all major foreign centers studying problems of international security.

In 2001 in order to widen the research into aggregated problems of modern Europe the Center of the International Relations and Foreign Policy Research headed by candidate of history Nadia Arbatova was created.

Beyond the above-mentioned fields of research some other interdisciplinary groups of experts emerged in the Institute, which dealt with common European problems, mostly economic. The first two of them were established in 1992-1993.

The Center of the International Social and Economic Comparisons led by Valentin Kudrov was created with the purpose of realizing regular comparative research of macroeconomic parameters of Russia and main countries of the EU, the economic reforms in Russia and in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEЕ), of carrying out constant monitoring of the course of economic development of the EU countries. Particular attention was paid lately to the prognosis of basic trends of economic development in Russia and the EU countries until 2015. Under special consideration is comparison of volumes of production, employment levels and labour productivity between the industry of Russia and the EU countries. The Institute published monographs "Europe and Russia: Experience of Economic Transformations", "The Retrospective View of the Soviet Economy", and other scientific works. It also held the international conference devoted to an exchange of experience in realization of economic reforms in Russia and the CEE countries together with the Vienna Institute of International Economic Comparisons.

The research into economic problems of the scientific and technical progress (STP) plays an important role in the activity of the Institute of Europe. It is carried out by the interdisciplinary group studying STP problems headed by Vadim Tsirenshchikov in particular in three major areas. Within the framework of the first of them theoretical and practical aspects of STP’s influence on economic growth of Western Europe are analyzed. The research has shown, that the basic stages and types of post-war economic growth of Western Europe completely coincide with critical points of movement of the fourth and fifth famous Russian economist Nicolai Kondratiev’s big cycles. The economy of the Western Europe has passed the period of long stagnation of the big cycle and enters 21st century in a phase of economic prosperity of the big cycle with all positive consequences for economic development of the region.

The second direction of this group’s research is aimed at working out a conceptual apparatus of scientific and technical integration, the study of main features of internationalization of production under STP influence, new phenomena in development of science, engineering, technology as well as an analysis of the EU scientific and technical politics and its constant monitoring. The third area is covering proposals and recommendations for domestic practice on the basis of critical analysis of Western experience in the STP sphere (including some results obtained during conferences and seminars organized by the group). They were presented in series of papers and reports directed to the ministries of the Russian government, Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences and other interested bodies. The results of research are reflected in many publications, among them the monographs by Vadim Tsirenshchikov "Scientific and Technical Integration of Western Europe" (Moscow, 1992) and "The Policy of Industrial Development of Russia", ed. by candidate of economics Lev Volodin (Moscow, 1999).

In 1997 by efforts of candidate of economics Arkady Maslennikov and his colleagues (candidate of economics Anatoly Bazhan and others) the Center named "Banks and a Credit Policy" was created. The main aim of the Center is to trace basic processes in banking and financial spheres in the countries with transitional economy, first of all in Russia, in a context of internationalization and globalization of international financial and economic relations. The first large work of this Center became the extensive report presented to the research structures of the Bank of Russia and devoted to financial and legal conditions of introduction of unified currency within the framework of the EU. The report contained conclusions about consequences of this process for the international financial positions of Russia and proposals concerning possible steps by the government and the Central Bank.

In the series of reports of the Institute several works are also published, in which on the basis of analysis of the Western Europe experience recommendations were given on re-structuring bank systems of Russia and on increasing banks’ role in development of real sector of the Russian economy. The wide set of these problems was analyzed in Vladimir Shenaev’s monograph "Monetary and Credit System of Russia" (Moscow, 1998).

In the years of the Center’s activity a number of dissertations were prepared. Among them there were theses on international migration of capital, investment policy of Russia and some West-European countries, on studying international experience in the field of trade and economics, and currency rate policy of various states of the world. Researches of the Center regularly act as scientific advisers to some state and non-state financial organizations.

In 2000 the Center of Problems of Social Development in Europe was created in the Institute. It is headed by doctor of history Marina Kargalova, who was for many years involved in social policy research. She is the author of the monograph "From Social Idea to Social Integration" (Moscow, 1999).

The Center has organized several conferences including international ones, and "round tables": "Europe – Russia. Basic Directions of Social Development in 21st Century", "Enterprise as a Primary Factor of Economic and Social Development (Experience of EU and Russia)", "Problems of Intellectual Property in Russia", "Modern Social Conflicts: Problems of Genesis and Regulation". Some collections of scientific papers and reports were published as a result of these conferences. At one of them in 2000 the decision was adopted to create the Council of Social Research to coordinate research in social area, uniting efforts of experts, first of all from institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Academician Nicolai Shmelev was elected the chairman of the board of this Council; his deputies are Vladimir Shenaev and professor, doctor of economics Sergei Pronin, deputy director of the Institute of Comparative Politology, the Russian Academy of Sciences. Marina Kargalova was elected director general. The Council and the Center present their studies to committees of State Duma and Council of Federation of Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.

The Center on Problems of Religion and a Society in Europe, created in 1996 on the initiative and under the direction of doctor of history, professor Anatoly Krasikov, in the beginning looked rather unusual in the structure of the Institute. But it occupied successfully its proper place among the structures of the Institute, created a number of scientific publications, which attracted wide attention.

The Center studies a direct and indirect influence of religious groups on politics; influence of states and political formations on believers and their organizations; mutual relations between religious organizations and followers of various religions and, finally, interaction and interrelationship of religious and other factors influencing political stability, international relations and security of Europe and its integral component – our country.

The Center works in close contact and cooperation with scientists from other academic institutes, with Russian and foreign governmental as well as nongovernmental organizations and, naturally, with leadership of religious bodies. There are lots of seminars, symposiums and scientific-practical conferences on the account of this Center.

It is necessary to mention among them especially the conference "The Interreligious Peace and Accord as a Condition of the Peaceful Future for Peoples of Northern Caucasus" (Pyatigorsk, February 1998). The international scientific conference held in the Institute of Europe in December 2000 with participation of Russian Orthodox metropolitans and Catholic cardinals "John XXIII and Modern World – Christian Evidence, Coexistence and Cooperation" received a wide response. It took place within the framework of actions devoted to the 2000-anniversary of Christianity.

The main results of the research were presented in Anatoly Krasikov's book "The Religious Factor in the European and Russian Politics (Historical Aspect)", and in collective monograph "Religion and Politics on the Threshold of Two Millennia". One of the latest works of the Center is the monograph "Church and Society. Dialogue of Russian Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism" published in Russia and France. Many scholars and religious figures from Russia, France, Italy and USA participated in its preparation.

The second "wave" of formation of scientific directions of the Institute, based on a regional-geopolitical principle, has followed the first "wave" rather quickly. As early as at the beginning of 1990s two such centers – one devoted to studying the Mediterranean (later Mediterranean and Black Sea) problems and the other – for the study of German problems were created in the Institute.

The research on policy and economics of Germany always occupied one of major places in the activity of the Institute of Europe. For the Russian academic science Germany is of interest from various points of view: studying the model of social market economy and analyzing internal and external political processes in this largest country of Western Europe. The interest in Germany has increased considerably with the beginning of the unification process of two German states. For deeper analysis of German problems in 1989 the Sector of Germany was created, and the Center of German Studies was formed on this base in the summer of 1992. Candidate of economics Vladislav Belov heads this Center. His deputy is candidate of history Victor Rykin, the head of the Sector of German Internal and Foreign Policy.

Within the framework of this short review it is impossible to embrace all spheres of the research of German economy and policy. Lately the following themes became the basic directions of the analysis: fundamentals of basic economic order; role of macroeconomic regulation in the formation of optimal market conditions for market subjects; external and internal political processes (in particular the role of leading political parties in modern German society); questions of budgetary federalism and local self-government, first of all, in the area of mutual relations between the Center and the Federal Lands especially in the sphere of the mechanism of financial equalization; the Eastern policy (main attention is devoted to the development of mutual relations with the CEE countries in new conditions); and, certainly, the Russian-German relations – especially bilateral economic cooperation and elaboration of recommendations for its development.

Germanists of the Institute actively participate in the work of Russian and international conferences where they present their papers and reports. They themselves organize conferences and seminars. At the end of the previous decade the Center has carried out a number of the Russian-German scientific conferences, particular interest was attracted by the conference devoted to analysis of ten years' result of transformational processes in East Germany and Russia. In 2000 together with representatives of the Fridrich Ebert Foundation the Center organized the Round Table discussion "Modern Social Democracy in Europe: Challenges and Chances" and the international conference "European Federalism and Russia: Experience of Past and Present". Major publications of the Center, which were well accepted by specialists, are: collective monograph "The Social Market Economy of Germany and Economic Transformation in Russia" (Moscow, 1996), monographs "The Unification of Germany and its Consequences" (Moscow, 1998), "Financial Foundations of Local Self-Government" (Moscow, 1995), "The Role of Communes in the System of German Statehood" etc. Among the authors of the above-mentioned works are Vladislav Belov, Victor Rykin as well as young but already quite experienced germanists: senior researchers – candidate of economics Kira Baranova and candidate of history Kiril Vyatkin.

The Center has been taking an active part in Russian and international consulting projects, among which – participation in German program TRANSFORM (the Russian-German project on reorganization of a system of management in the sphere of housing and communal services at the level of enterprises as well as some projects on improvement of professional skill of Russian managers, including those within the framework of the Presidential initiative); successful fulfillment of the World Bank project "Interrelation between financial accumulation by the population and economic growth"; the joint project with the German side on studying problems of federation and communes; participation in the program of the Moscow Government "The Science for Moscow" within the framework of which the work "Development of methods aimed at increasing efficiency of the Moscow financial system (studying Berlin experience)" was prepared.

The Center of German studies plays one more important role: it unites around itself germanists-economists and politologists, who continued their work in science, in spite of difficult conditions. This role is one of priority in the activities of the Center.

A number of the principal works devoted to German and all-European problems was published by doctor of political science Igor Maksimychev, among them: "Threats to Security of Russia Connected with the Beginning of the NATO Expansion (Foreign Policy Aspects)" (Moscow, 1998), "Continent at the Crossroads. New Russia and New Germany in New Europe" (Moscow, 1999), "Eastern Policy of United Germany. Results of the First Decade" (Moscow, 2001).

In 1989 a group of scholars from a number of academic institutes founded the Council of the Mediterranean Problems attached to the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences. They understood that traditions of studying foreign policy of our country and its participation in international affairs in this region are undeservedly underestimated, and they should be revived, especially if to take into account, that the role of Mediterranean in the life of the world community has greatly increased. The end of cold war allowed to hope, that the region may become a zone of cooperation and partnership of all states having here their interests, with Russian participation.

When after several years it became obvious, that events will develop in another way, and national interests of Russia appear under threat not only in the Mediterranean, but also in adjacent Black Sea region, the Council has expanded the sphere of its activity and started analyzing the Mediterranean-Black Sea area as a whole. Now in the field of vision of the Council there is also the Caspian Sea, which has formed together with the Black Sea and the Mediterranean an extended "arch of vulnerability" on southern borders of Russia.

The Center of the Mediterranean and Black Sea Problems founded in the Institute of Europe and led by doctor of history, professor Nicolai Kovalsky, who prematurely passed away in 2001, became the working body of this Council. This Center and, accordingly, the Council see their task in exploring new components of vital (national) Russian interests in this region, analyzing changing conditions, developing applied decisions and recommendations in the field of Russian foreign policy activity. The main aim is to assist formation of foreign policy of Russia on this southern direction, to find out factors, which should be taken into consideration, to offer optimal ways for realization of this policy.

The collective thought of researches of the Institute and members of the Council as a whole is expressed in extended works published as monographs, which attracted attention both in Russia and abroad. For a number of years books edited by Nicolai Kovalsky received positive response in the scientific community. Among them "Russia, the Mediterranean, South Europe" (Moscow, 1995). Some distinctive features of this work are the width of coverage and analytical elaboration of researched questions, the non-standard approach to many of them, the balanced estimate of acute problems. In 1997 in the series "Security of Russia" the book devoted to the problems of the Black Sea region, to be exact – geopolitical, economic, social and ecological aspects of regional security, has appeared. The interrelation between culture and security is considered in it as well.

Some results of studies are published in English. The book "Russia: The Mediterranean and Black Sea Region" (Moscow, 1996) became the first such publication. The book "Europe, the Mediterranean. Russia: Perception of Strategies" (Moscow, 1998), created opportunity to compare various approaches to regional realities and to show a multipolarity of such estimates. A number of outstanding foreign scientists and political figures took part in this book. The voluminous work "Europe and Russia: Problems of the South. The Mediterranean – Black Sea Region – Caspian Sea" was published in 1999. In this book over 40 Russian and foreign specialists took part. Among them there were representatives from academic community as well as officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economics and other offices of the Russian Federation.

In 2000-2001 Vitaly Zhurkin and Nicolai Kovalsky edited several collective monographs: "European Union – Russia: Balkan Situation", "Plans of Stability for the Caucasus. The West and Russian Interests", "Globalization and Regionalism: Black Sea Region. Balkans".

The Center of the Mediterranean – Black Sea problems during years of its existence carried out a series of Russian and international conferences, which received good response in our country and in Europe as a whole. They were followed by the publication of the above-mentioned collective monographs. In 1998 the Institute together with the Association of European Studies and the Kuban State University conducted the European summer school where the new regional organization – the Black Sea Youth Initiative was founded. For a number of years the Institute of Europe is represented in the Working group on science and technologies which is one of the branches of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation – BSEC.

The Council of Mediterranean-Black Sea problems is governed by the Board (Collegium), which is headed by the author of this article. Deputies are Nicolai Shmelev, Vladimir Shenaev, professor Alla Yazkova. Nicolai Kovalsky was the president of this Council from the time of creation until his passing away. Nadia Arbatova is the vice-president. Members of the Board are academicians Vladimir Babeshko, Nicolai Kuznetsov, Alexander Chubaryan, deputy director of the Institute of Europe and Chairman of the Council on foreign and defense policy Sergei Karaganov, director of the Foreign Policy Foundation Boris Panov and others. The member of the Board professor Evgeny Kutovoi became alternate director general of the International Center for Black Sea Studies in Athens. Now the Council unites over 60 scientists from institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences and other research centers, professors and lecturers of Russian universities.

Since 1994 a group of researchers of the Institute is studying problems of relations between Russia and countries of the CIS, and between the Commonwealth as a whole and Europe. Today it is the Center of problems of mutual relations between Russia, countries of the CIS and Europe, headed by doctor of history, professor Dmitry Furman.

On this direction a rather wide spectrum of studies is formed. It includes the problematics of economy, history, culturology, science, conflictology etc. Among the most significant works it is necessary to name the book of the first head of the Center academician Nicolai Shmelev "Advances and Debts. Yesterday and Tomorrow of the Russian Economic Reforms" (Moscow, 1996), in which the following perception of Russia runs all through: Russia should not search for any special "national idea" because the idea always was with us: idea of creation, development and innovation of the native land. Dmitry Furman's books are devoted to the countries of the CIS: "Byelorussia and Russia: Societies and States", "Ukraine and Russia: Societies and States", "Azerbaijan and Russia: Societies and States".

In 1999 the Center prepared and issued the generalizing work "The Post-Soviet States in Europe of XXI Century" in which an attempt was made to foresee probable social and economic contours of Russia in the first quarter of the new century, to appraise possibilities of the adequate answer by the national scientific and technological complex to challenges of globalization, to juxtapose centrifugal and centripetal tendencies on the post-Soviet space. In the context of traditional for the Institute comparative regional studies the head of the Sector of Ethno-political Conflicts candidate of history Pavel Kandel (problems of conflictology) and doctor of philosophical science Еlena Vodopyanova (problems of social history) are analyzing situation in Russia, other countries of the CIS and CEЕ.

It is worth to emphasize that formation of the regional-geopolitical centers was dictated not only by scientific needs. To a large extent it was conditioned by the search of the highly qualified experts who had to create these centers. When the outstanding Russian scholar and diplomat, doctor of history, professor Yury Rubinsky, who held for many years important positions in the Embassy of our country in France, joined the staff of the Institute in 1997, an opportunity emerged to create under his leadership the Center of the French Studies, which quickly earned a fine scientific reputation in Russia, France, and in other countries of Europe.

The activity of the Center correlates with the general methodology of research of the Institute. It organically combines the study of country and regional problematics with the wider all-European problems in one way or the other relating to Russia. The first report published in 1997 includes two parts – "Political Changes in France: Causes and Consequences" (about parliamentary elections which have resulted in change of the majority in parliament and the new government) and "The Image of Russia in France". Similar approach, supplemented with the aspect of international comparisons was adopted in the next report prepared together with Kiril Vyatkin – "Long-term Joint Programs of Social and Economic Development of the Center and Regions" (Moscow, 1998).

Yury Rubinsky's two books – "Western Civilization between Two Millennia" (Moscow, 1999) and "Europe of XXI Century: State, Political Parties, Civil Society" (Moscow, 2000) are devoted to the all-European problems. At the same time the number of Yury Rubinsky's works was issued in France in publications of the French Institute of International Relations – IFRI (books "France and Russia in Search of Multipolar World", "Russia and NATO", "Splinters of Empire") and the International Institute of Geopolitics.

The birth of the Center of Northern Europe has happened in the same way in 1999. It was brought about when the well-known Russian diplomat, Ambassador Yury Deryabin joined the Institute. The systemic studying of modern tendencies and problems of the Northern Europe, the Baltic and Euro-Arctic regions is carried out within the framework of this Center. It is conducted in coordination with interests and requirements of Russia on this traditionally important and dynamically developing direction. Special attention is devoted to new opportunities and forms of cooperation of Russia and its regions with other countries and their regions, and also with the international, regional and sub-regional organizations and structures, including European Union, Council of Baltic Sea States, Barents Euro-Arctic Council, Arctic Council. The Center is preparing analytical materials and publications and working out proposals and recommendations for the formation of policy and practical actions of Russia in the above-mentioned regions. In 2000 the Center completed analytical-practical reports "Northern Dimension" of the European Union’s Policy and Interests of Russia" and the other – on regional organizations of Northern Europe. The senior researcher, candidate of economics Natalia Antushina investigates a special Scandinavian model of social and economic development.

In 2000 the complex of the regional-geopolitical centers was completed by the creation of the long planned Center for British Studies led by the young Russian scientist, Ph.D. in politics (candidate) Alexey Gromyko who quickly developed the research and organizational work.

Soon after the creation of the Institute of Europe mutually advantageous long-term cooperation on the European problems was established with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. In order to achieve more effective utilization of the results of the Institute’s research by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs situational analyses and other meetings were held in the Institute of Europe with participation of representatives of the Ministry’s departments. An extensive exchange of information-analytical materials is carried out between both these organizations. These materials cover a wide range of European and general international problems, in particular, those which cover mutual relations of the states of Europe with Russia as well as positions of these states on various problems.

The coordinators of cooperation are the deputy director of the Department of General Secretary Andrey Nesterenko representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the head of the Country Information Desk Alexandr Bochever representing the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

In modern Europe information plays a growing role in all spheres of life of a society. In the Department of Informatics of the Institute of Europe (the head – candidate of technical sciences Vladimir Mashlykin) the theme "Prospects of All-European Information Space" is being developed for a number of years. This theme became important in conditions of modern "postindustrial" or "information" society on the threshold of XX and XXI centuries. For the Institute of Europe spheres of development and use of computer science methods are above all international relations, comparative economy, problems of security and social life of the European countries. In the process of developing the general concept of European information space (ЕIS) in the department the following problems are being solved:

First, the quantitative analysis and creation of automated databases (ADB) on the European themes, which are contained and saved in computer memory. These bases contain bibliographic, factual, full-text and reference files on political, economic, social and other problems, personnel of scientists-europeanists, the regional geographic and legal information, data on activity of the State Duma. The databases of the Institute of Europe, being one of the elements of Russia’s state information resources, are registered in the structure of the general official Register of the Ministry on Communication and Informatization of the Russian Federation. Their basic open part is accessible to users by means of the global information network Internet.

Second, the development of the specialized linguistics of classifiers and multilingual thesauruses on the European themes. Fast and effective ADB search is possible only on the basis of these linguistic means – the specialized machine all-European language. In the Institute this work is conducted in cooperation with the parliamentary library of Federal Assembly of Russia and with some scientific centers of major European countries.

Third, the participation in development and practical activities of some international information systems: "European Information Network on International Relations and Area Studies" (EINIRAS), "International Security Network" (ISN) etc. Participants of these systems organize regular international conferences, sessions of task groups and meetings. The Center of the automated network on the European problems, connected with major countries of Europe, operates in the structure of the Department of Informatics.

The results of this work find their reflection in the international working documentation and scientific publications. In 1999 Vladimir Mashlykin's generalizing monograph "European Information Space" was published. In this publication all formations of the European information space (EIS), including the Russian information space as one of the basic components, are analyzed.

The information resource of the Institute is supported by the library with about 9 thousand volumes (responsible: Natalia Pavlovskaya, Galina Chechetkina), a number of accesses to Internet, complexes of e-mail (Maria Slesarenko) and facsimile communication (Valentina Lipkina).

Soon after the creation of the Institute of Europe an important problem arose – how to create the interrelation of fundamental and applied European studies with the system of higher and whenever possible secondary education in Russia; how to create the constantly functioning complex of interaction between the Institute and key Russian educational institutions, first of all universities. This task had also the second principal side – the necessity to extend communications with education and science beyond the bounds of Moscow, into other regions of Russia.

This problem was solved by the creation of the Association of European Studies (АES) registered in 1992 (executive director – candidate of history Olga Potemkina) on the basis of the Institute of Europe. Since 1994 AES is one of со-founders of the international union of associations of European studies (ECSA - World). A number of academic and educational bodies became co-founders of AES: institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences, major Moscow educational institutions, individual members from the same communities as well.

It is especially important that 25 Russian universities1 participate in the work of the Association in various forms (in particular by creating AES branches).

AES regularly conducts seminars, conferences, symposiums. It is very significant because they help to establish numerous contacts with colleagues, to carry out a fruitful exchange of opinions and information, and also to put into practice multilateral joint studies of important problems of Europe and relations between Russia and the European countries.

AES conducts an active teaching and educational work, it is another very prominent dimension of its activity. Not only researchers of the Institute of Europe but leading scholars from other academic and educational centers of Russia as well as foreign experts participate in conducting courses at universities of our country.

The effective new form of such activity are organized since 1998 by AES "European schools" for students, post-graduates and school pupils, which are carried out together with regional universities. Summer or winter schools were held in Nizhny Novgorod, Ekaterinburg, Arzamas, Krasnodar, Lipetsk, Petrozavodsk, Ioshkar-Ola and other cities. The Center of integrational studies and programs (St. Petersburg), which is a collective member of AES, organizes each year international schools in Repino. Annual series of lectures for schoolchildren of Moscow "Modern Europe" are carried out since 1997 together with Association "Youth Euroclubs".

On the threshold of the new century, when the new director academician Nicolai Shmelev was elected, the Institute of Europe has found a new breath. "The third wave" began in its life and activity. It was marked by new endeavors and new initiatives in various spheres of scientific work.

A new fundamental monograph edited by Nicolai Shmelev occupies a special place among annual 10-15 books issued by the Institute: "Europe Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow". It sums up all multiyear research activity. In this work practically the whole research community of the Institute participated. The multifaceted substance of the book, the thorough analysis of the political, economic, social and other evolutional processes taking place on the "Old continent" in the end of XX – beginning of XXI centuries, strong prognostic emphasis and many other virtues make this monograph the largest creation of the Institute of Europe. This book does not only summarize more than ten years' research activity, but also represents reliable base for the further scientific search.

New structures, already mentioned above, are created in the Institute. New highly professional researchers joined it. Among them it is necessary to single out the outstanding economist, former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Ivan Ivanov and well-known Germanist, former Deputy Minister of Economics of the Russian Federation, Vice-President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, doctor of economics, professor Valentin Fedorov.

In 2000 the publication of the academic organ of the Institute – quarterly journal "Contemporary Europe" (chief-editor Nicolai Shmelev, executive editor Yury Molchanov) – started at long last. It quickly got a very positive recognition in Russian and not only Russian academic and public circles.

The series of published individual and collective works "Reports of the Institute of Europe" substituted for journal during almost ten years since 1993. 75 such reports were issued until the start of 2001. However they could not replace completely such necessary periodical as the journal.

From the very first issues the journal offered to readers a number of deep and original articles on fundamental problems of Europe, Russia, Russian-European and as a whole contemporary international relations2. The publication of the journal has been demanding constant efforts of almost all academic community of the Institute of Europe.

Now the regular staff of the Institute is 109 persons. The successfully working postgraduate course, which has advanced many young experts (head – Galina Pavlinskaya), includes today over 20 young people.

In addition to the basic Academic Council in the Institute of Europe there are two specialized Academic Councils for defending dissertations to get scientific degrees of the doctor and the candidate (PhD) of economics, history and political science, which are actively functioning.

The Institute is in touch with over 70 research academic and educational centers in the near and far abroad. Candidate of history Evgeny Mironenkov, who worked for long time as deputy director of the Institute, heads this important direction of its activity.

The managing structure of the Institute is at present as following: the director – academician Nicolai Shmelev, the author of these article – director emeritus, the following deputy directors: corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Ivan Ivanov, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Shenaev, doctor of history Sergei Karaganov, doctor of economics, professor Valentin Fedorov, Vladilen Puhov, the scientific secretary, candidate of economics Lev Volodin.

The average age of the scientific staff of the Institute is 44 years.

Summing up, one may say that the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences has confidently joined the family of the interdisciplinary academic institutes studying major regions of our planet. Together with them it experiences well-known difficulties which are endured in the transitional period by our science. Together with them it searches for new ways of work in new conditions. With optimism, though quite guarded the collective of the Institute of Europe is looking forward into the future.

Translated from academic journal “Novaia i Noveishaia Istoria” (“Modern and Contemporary History”), Moscow, № 6, November – December 2001.


Zhurkin Vitaly Vladimirovich – academician, director emeritus of the IE of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

In the article reference and analytical materials were used, prepared by the following authors: Vladislav Belov, Yury Borko, Alexander Bochever, Elena Vodopyanova, Dmitry Danilov, Yury Deryabin, Nicolai Kovalsky, Anatoly Krasikov, Valentin Kudrov, Arkady Maslennikov, Vladimir Mashlykin, Galina Pavlinskaya, Olga Potemkina, Yury Rubinsky, Dmitry Furman, Vadim Tsirenshchikov.

1 Altay, Pomorsk (Arkhangelsk), Vladimir pedagogical, Volgograd, Voronezh, Ural (Ekaterinburg), Ivanovo, Petrozavodsk, Kemerovo, Kuban (Krasnodar), Lipetsk pedagogical, Mari, Moscow, Nizhniy Novgorod, Perm, Rostov, St.-Petersburg, Saratov, Stavropol, Tver, Tomsk, Tyumen, Ulyanovsk, Chelyabinsk, Yaroslavl state universities.

2 In the first issue the following articles were published: Gorbachev М. Europe in the 21st Century: Unity – Logarithm of Success; Shenaev V., Shmelev N. Russia and the European Union – Problems of Economic Partnership; Shishkov Y. Europe and the Economic Globalization Problems; Rubinsky Y. European Civilization at the Threshold of III Millenium; Krasikov А. Christian World. Problems of Dialogue. In the second issue: Ivanov I. Clear up the Ways for Strategic Partnership; Bahr E. (Germany). Europe between Protectorate and Self-Determination; Kandel P. The West and Russia in the Russian Public Opinion; Danilov D. Russia and the Greater Europe: Security Strategy; Deryabin Y. "Northern Dimension" and Russia’s Interests; Reiter E. (Austria). Idea of European Federation; Kudrov V. Europe in the World Economy. In the third issue: Konstantinos Stephanopoulos (President of Greece). Strengthening Ties of Friendship; Fedorov V. Russia at the End of XX Century; Culmi D. (France). European Defence-Building; Bazhan A. Restructuring the Russian Banking System. In the fourth issue: Avdeev A. European Vector in the Foreign Policy of Russia; Steuber E. (Germany). Federalism in Europe: Bavarian Point of View; Morozov G. The Millenium Summit and the UN; Gromyko Al. Century of British Labour; Vodopyanova E. European Feminism: Ideas and the Movement: In the first issue of 2001: Akayev А. (Kirghizia). New Understanding of Euro-Asian Conception; Manfred Shtolpe (Germany). Brandenburg Invites to Cooperation; Arbatov А. Main Problems of Military Reform; "Federalism in Europe and Russia: Experience of Past and Present" (International Conference).