Activities 2010 - European Academy of Sciences and Arts

Activities 2010 - European Academy of Sciences and Arts


In his contribution to the discussion held at Schloss Lepoldskron the influential Munich

political scientist Werner Weidenfeld talked about the difficulties of the EU with regard to

a common political approach towards Russia. His analysis: "Countries like Germany,

France, Italy or Austria are interested in increased cooperation with Russia, countries such

as Spain and Portugal are not interested, whereas many CEE countries want to keep the

Russians at a distance". The outcome of this "lack of a common political language for

dealing with Russia" is that Russia prefers to negotiate with individual EU countries rather

than with the EU as a whole.

This was also confirmed by Professor Wilfried Bergmann from the "German Academic

Exchange Service". "There is a slow-down process underway in the EU, whereby the slowest

wagon determines the speed of the train, is it then so surprising when Russia prefers

to negotiate with individual large EU countries? The EU is welcomed as a partner by

Russia but it must say what it actually wants, clearly and with one voice. This applies in

particular to an "Energy Charter" which the EU wishes to sign with Russia but whose

coming into being Bergmann considers to be very unlikely. However, according to

Bergmann, it is precisely in the area of energy that Russia is not just an interested partner

but rather an essential partner for the Europeans. "Russia naturally wants to sell us oil and

gas, but the dependency of course works both ways".

Karel Kovanda from the European Commission in Brussels sees the assessment of foreign

policy issues as representing the biggest difference between the EU and Russia, using as

examples of this the recognition of Kosovo and Russian actions in Abkhazia and South

Ossetia. Kovanda is most concerned by the situation in the Northern Caucasus. It must

also be in the interests of the Europeans that a lasting peace be brought to this area of

political, religious and ethnic unrest.

Professor Alexander Shabrov, the Rector of the St Petersburg Medical University, views

closer cooperation between Russia and western European scientists that builds on existing

exchange services, as vital. The establishment of medical standards is heavily

dependent on available financial resources, as is their implementation. On the whole,

scientific exchange in the medical area is working splendidly. That said, new problems, for

instance in the treatment of infections and in the routine care of the general population, are

now surfacing in Russia. Andrea Raffaseder however pointed out individual projects developing

new medical structures that are working steadily towards improved care for the

general population.

In a session between representatives of the academies from the Balkans with the Russian

Academy, Dr. Johannes Kyrle, Secretary General from the Austrian Ministry for Foreign

Affairs, pointed out the necessity of mutual dialogues. He advocated looking strongly to

the future to overcome the difficult past in the Balkans for a better Europe. The Academies

have the privilege to foster stimuli for a mutual cooperation.

A session focussed on economy, addressing the problems in financing (Paul Rübig, MEP).

The World Economy depends at present and also in the future to a high degree on fossil

energy. The consumption of oil is 8 times higher than 60 years ago and gas consumption


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