About the Russia-EU initiative «Partnership for modernization»

(background information)

On the 18th of November 2009 in the course of Russia-EU summit in Stockholm an initiative "Partnership for Modernization" (P4M) was put forward as one of the main directions for the development of the strategic character in Russia-EU relations.

The aim of the Partnership is to help modernize Russia’s economy and adapt the whole complex of Russian-European relations in accordance with the experience of the existing dialogue instruments of "sectoral" Russia-EU cooperation.

At the summit in Rostov-on-Don (June 2010) a joint statement on "Partnership for Modernization" was signed by leaders of Russia and the EU. The document sets the priorities and the scope for intensification of cooperation in the interests of modernization between Russia and the European Union.

In accordance with the joint statement the priorities of "Partnership for Modernization" should include the following directions: expanding opportunities for investment in key sectors driving growth and innovation; enhancing and deepening of bilateral trade and economic cooperation, and also creation of favourable conditions for the development of small and medium-sized businesses; promoting alignment of technical regulations and standards, as well as a high level of protection of intellectual property rights; transport; promoting the development of the sustainable low-carbon economy and energy efficiency, as well as the support to international negotiations on combating climate change; enhancing cooperation in the spheres of innovation, research and development, and also space; ensuring the balanced development by means of taking measures in reply to regional and social consequences of economic restructuring; ensuring the effective functioning of judicial system and strengthening the anti-corruption fight; assistance to promoting people-to-people links and enhancing dialogue with civil society to foster participation of individuals and business. This list of directions of cooperation is not exhaustive. Other spheres of cooperation can be added on an as-needed basis. Russia and the EU will foster the realization of certain projects in the framework of "Partnership for Modernization".

Relevant national coordinators from the Russian and from the EU side were appointed for coordination of this work (from the Russian side - Mr. A. A. Slepnev, Deputy Minister; from the EU side - Mr. H. Mingarelli. Deputy DG on external relations of the EC, starting from 2011 – Mr. Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director EEAS).

On the results of analysis of the existing formats of cooperation with the European partners it was determined that PfM should be built on the current achievements in the framework of creation of the four Russia-EU common spaces, but should not replace the existing "road maps" and should not become a reason for creation of new structural additions. The "sectoral" Russia-EU dialogues were considered to be the main instruments for realization of the P4M initiative.

The national coordinators in cooperation with the co-chairmen of the Russia-EU "sectoral" dialogues worked out the Work Plan for P4M realization, containing the determined joint projects in the priority fields of cooperation.

Under chairmanship of National Coordinators of the initiative an extended meeting of representatives of the Russia-EU "sectoral" dialogues, which are involved in the realization of "Partnership for Modernization", took place on 11/05/2011 in the RF Ministry of Economic Development.

In the course of the meeting the sides discussed the progress of the P4M Work Plan projects' implementation and determined the priority tasks for the second half of 2011, measures of support to the projects, including the outsourcing the resources from international financial institutions, as well as the participation of business in the realization of P4M tasks.

With the aim of formation of financial instruments for cooperation in the P4M framework the relevant Memoranda of understanding were signed by Vnesheconombank (Russian Development Bank) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and by Vnesheconombank (Russian Development Bank) and the European Investment Bank (EIB). These documents foresee the possibility to allocate funds for financing the P4M projects up to 2 bln dollars in common on conditions that they match the criteria of financial institutions and of approval by management authorities of the sides.

Top priority was given to financing such spheres as energy efficiency, transport, innovative initiatives related to small and medium-sized enterprises (including business incubators, technological parks, business technology centres, infrastructure of financial services provided to SMEs), as well as commercialization of innovations in a number of sectors including the above-mentioned ones, pharmaceutics and environmental protection.

On the sidelines of the Russia-EU summit in Nizhny Novgorod on 9-10/06/2011 the P4M coordinators signed a joint Progress Report, which draws up the results of the done work and gives examples of certain current activities and projects in the framework of the Work Plan.

In the framework of the P4M Work Plan implementation and in the course of the above-mentioned meeting a statement on establishment a new Dialogue on trade and investments was signed by the Ministry of economic development of the Russian Federation and the General Directorate on Trade of the European Commission. The co-chairman of the Dialogue from the Russian side is Mr. A. A. Slepnev, Deputy Minister of economic development of the Russian Federation, from the EU side Mr. P. Balash, Deputy Director-General of the DG Trade of the EC. The dialogue will cover the trade and investment issues of the Russia-EU relations, including the commitments of the European Union and Russia in the WTO framework and current trade and economic agreements between the European Union and Russia.