Rising Powers and Interdependent Futures

minarets in Russia

Russia and the EU in the Common Neighbourhood: Export of Governance and Legal (In) Compatibility

Project details

Discipline: Area and Development Studies
Funded Period: 01 January 2013 – 31 December 2015
Rising powers: Russia
Additional countries: Armenia, Belarus, Ukraine


This interdisciplinary project aims to map Russia’s governance-related influences in the post-Soviet states in the ‘common neighbourhood’ with the EU.

The project explores the following issues:

  • Russia’s promotion of governance in neighbouring countries
  • partner countries’ receptivity to Russia’s governance templates
  • how Russia’s export of governance affects, and is compatible with, the EU’s external governance in the region.

The empirical focus of the project is on four policy fields:

  • Corporate governance
  • Food safety standards
  • Customs administration
  • Energy

Research will be conducted in the following countries:

  • Armenia
  • Belarus
  • Ukraine
  • Russia
Project team

Principal Investigator

Dr Kataryna Wolczuk, Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham.
Project responsibilities: food safety standards and energy.

Dr. Kataryna Wolczuk is Reader in Politics and International Studies at the Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham. She holds a Magister of Law from the University of Gdansk, an MSocSc and a PhD from the University of Birmingham. In 2002-03 she was Jean Monnet Fellow, the European University Institute, Florence. Her research has focused on the state-building process in the post-Soviet states (especially institutional reforms, regionalism and the politics of identity) and most recently, relations between the European Union and the post-Soviet states in Europe (within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership).

Other members of the core team

Dr Rilka Dragneva, School of Law, University of Birmingham, Co-Investigator.
Project responsibilities: corporate governance and customs administration

Dr Rilka Dragneva-Lewers joined the Birmingham Law School in September 2012. Previous to that she was at the School of Law, University of Manchester (2006-2012) and Department of Law, University of Leiden (The Netherlands) (1999-2006). Dr Dragneva has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Sussex (2001) the Faculty of Law, University of Trento, Italy (2003 and 2004). Her research interests are focused in two main areas: legal reform and development of legal institutions in the field of company law and corporate governance (primarily in Central and Eastern Europe), and the law of economic integration (free trade areas) and legal harmonization (with an emphasis on developments in the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Eurasian Customs Union).

The project also involves several experts from the UK, Russia and Ukraine.

  • Dragneva, R. and Wolczuk, K. (2015) ‘EU Emulation in the Design of Eurasian Integration’ in D. Lane & V. Samokhvalov (eds.) The Eurasian Project and Europe: Regional Discontinuities and Geopolitics (Palgrave)
  • Dragneva, R. and Wolczuk, K. (2015) Ukraine between the EU and Russia: The integration challenge (Palgrave Pivot)
  • Dragneva, R. and Wolczuk, K. (2015) ‘EU & EEU: geopolitical problems cannot be addressed by technocratic measures’, European Leadership Network.
  • Dragneva, R. and Wolczuk, K. ‘Trade and Geopolitics, should the EU engage with the Eurasian Economic Union?‘, Policy Brief, European Policy Centre, Brussels.
  • Wolczuk, K. (2015) ‘Ukraine’s ‘regionalism of convenience’, Washington Post Politics Blog.
  • Dragneva, R. and Wolczuk, K. (2014) ‘The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and the Challenges of Inter-regionalism’, Review of Central and East European Law, 39 (3-4): 213-244
  • Dragneva, R. and Wolczuk, K. (eds.) (2013) Eurasian Economic Integration: Law, Policy, and Politics (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar)
  • Wolczuk, K. (2013) ‘Approximation of the National Legislation of Eastern Partnership Countries with EU Legislation in the Economic Field’, Study, Directorate General for External Policies of the Union, European Parliament, Brussels. (with L. Delcour)
  • Dimitrova A. and Dragneva R. (2013) ‘Shaping Convergence with the EU in Foreign Policy and State Aid in Post-Orange Ukraine: Weak Extrenal Incentives, Powerful Veto Players’, 65:4 Europe-Asia Studies 658-681
  • Dragneva, R. and Wolczuk, K. (2012) ‘Russia, the Eurasian Customs Union and the EU: Cooperation, Stagnation or Rivalry?’Chatham House Briefing Paper REP BP 2012/01 (August)
  • Wolczuk, K. (2012) ‘Convergence without Membership? The Impact of the European Union in the Neighbourhood: Evidence from Ukraine’, Journal of European Public Policy, 19:6, (September) pp. 863-881, (with J. Langbein)
  • Dragneva, R. and Wolczuk, K. (2011) ‘EU Law Export to the Eastern Neighbourhood and an Elusive Demand for Law’ in P. Cardwell (ed.) EU External Relations Law and Policy in the Post-Lisbon Era (TMC Asser Press)
  • Dragneva, R. and Dimitrova, A. (2010) “The Politics of Demand for Law: The Case of Ukraine’s Company Law Reform”, European Journal of Law Reform 12/3-4 (2010), pp. 297-318

Co-Investigator Rilka Dragneva discusses the project 'Russia and the EU in the Common Neighbourhood: Export of Governance and Legal (In) Compatibility'.