Strategic Communication in EU-Russia Relations Tensions, Challenges and Opportunities (new book)

Strategic Communication in EU-Russia Relations Tensions, Challenges and Opportunities (new book)

8 décembre 2019 0 Par Pierre-Emmanuel Thomann

Evgeny Pashentsev (Ed.)

-Comprehensively examines for the first time the role of strategic communication in the relations between Russia and the EU during the most risky and challenging period of human history
-Develops thinking on the political and economic aspects of EU-Russia strategic communication
-Examines the security dimension in the bilateral relations, including geopolitical risks, terrorist threats, and other issues
-Discusses the role of advanced technologies and artificial intelligence in the social, political development of Russia and the EU


“This book is a timely reminder of the ties that join Russia and the European Union and the opportunities that still exist to improve a troubled relationship. The book does not shy away from the difficulties that the relationship currently faces, but seeks to find opportunities in these obstacles that could lead to improvements. With the voice of Russian scholars fully audible in this excellent collection of essays, this book provides excellent opportunities for English-speaking audiences to learn more about this complex relationship.”
—Professor Victor Bulmer-Thomas, Chatham House, Britain

“The book is extremely relevant because of the increased attention to the issue of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) developments and its role in the future. The question now is not so much that AGI will be dangerous for Humanity in the Future, but that Humanity has a very poor image of the Future without the scientific study of AGI.”
—Professor Alexander Raikov, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Institute of Control Sciences of Russian Academy of Sciences, Winner of the Russian Government award in the field of Science and Technology

“This edited volume on the current state of play in strategic communication between the European Union and Russia offers a number of clear insights and observations from authors from both sides. Offering readers a clearly argued, rational depiction and analysis of events and trends during the contemporary environment of very strained and difficult relations.”
—Associate Professor Greg Simons,
Uppsala University, Sweden and Turiba University, Latvia

“This timely book edited by Pashentsev draws together the work Russian, EU and US academics concerned about escalating tensions between Russia and the EU. The book discusses the growing role played by planned strategic communication in international relations and how stratcom has become a feature of Russian-EU engagements. The book will appeal to those with an interest in
Russian studies; EU-studies; international relations; political communication; and public diplomacy.”
—Eric Louw, Associate Professor,
School of Communication & Arts, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia Strategic Communication in EU-Russia Relations

“The thinking of Evgeny Pashentsev presents an enlightening analysis and synthesis of the integration of the political, social, cultural and technological advances around the globe with respect totheir impact on EU-Russia relations. His chapters are a must read for both scholars and strategic consultants who seek to understand the future of the paradigm shift taking place in these
—Bruce I. Newman, PhD, Professor of Marketing, DePaul University, Founding Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Political Marketing, USA

“This volume highlights the strategic communication as a corner stone of the general principles governing international relations and ensuring the obligations assumed by Russia and EU in accordance with the charter of the United Nations. The authors offer us a pertinent study where the relations between Russia and EU are addressed in multiple ways. This variety of approaches forms the main charm and attraction of this book.”
—Fatima Roumate, PhD, President, International Institute for Scientific Research, Marrakesh, Morocco

“In a shocked world, the difficult and complex relationships between the European Union and Russia could, however, find a useful way of approach.”
“Per aspera ad astra summons and challenges the Editor of this very interesting book, that pursues a dialogue that could be crucial.”
—Dr Ernesto López, Director, Institute of National Problems at the National University of Lanús, Argentina

“This book edited by Evgeny Pashentsev allows us to understand well how strategic communication is a constituent, essential factor to the success or failure of the policies aimed at promoting cooperation between different systems; in the same time to clarify the many rational or irrational elements that influence this type of communication. The contributions drive to research the ultimate principles, goals and visions that are behind the messages, the real arena to clarify the positive or negative attitude of the promoters in building bridges among the communities.”
—Marco Ricceri, Secretary General, Eurispes Institute, Rome, Italy



The system of Russian-European relations has always been and remains today one of the fundamental themes of international politics. Firstly, there are obvious historical reasons. After the Great Schism of 1056, which determined a political and theological division of the until then united medieval Christian world, the great Petrine reforms of the early eighteenth century led to a new approach between Western and Eastern Europe, overcoming the effects of the long Mongol domination, that had even more deepened the consequences of the schism. Since then Russia has represented a constant in the political and cultural events of the Old Continent. The Polish and Austrian wars of succession, the Napoleonic wars and then the new world order established by the Congress of Vienna saw a regular and decisive presence of St. Petersburg. It is not necessary to remember the Russian role in the First and, above all, in the Second World Wars. The Cold War then saw in the Soviet Union one of the two superpowers on which the destinies of humanity and, in particular, of the then divided Europe depended. Everything seemed to have ended in 1991,
with the disintegration of the USSR and the slipping of the “new Russia” to the level of medium power, in a unipolar US-led world. But this did not happen. So we come to the second aspect of the centrality of Moscow and its relations with Europe: the geopolitical aspect. The doctrine of an international multipolar system, theorized by Evgeny M. Primakov and then implemented by President Putin, has highlighted even more the importance of dialogue and cooperation in a great Europe that from the Atlantic Ocean goes not only up to the Urals, but beyond up to the Pacific. With the rising of Chinese power, Indian growth and the American tendency to concentrate on internal issues, it is more than ever evident that only a close understanding between Russia and Europe can avoid the supremacy of the new poles. The reasons are varied.

First of all, socio-economic: the European Union has advanced technologies, on average very effective welfare systems and represents a market of over 500 million consumers with high spending power. The Russian Federation has one of the best scientific potentials in the world, abundant natural resources and a territory of unique dimensions. The meeting of these realities would give life to a giant able to compete as much with the American partners as with the Asian tigers. We should not forget also the potential of a common effort on the environmental front: waste management, protection of ecosystems and animal species: common problems which need to find unitary solutions and to make use of the complementary experiences gained by the EU and the Russian Federation. The second reason concerns strategic and security choices. In the light of the threats facing European Union member countries today, from terrorism to the risks associated with massive immigration (including integration or assimilation processes and religious pluralism), the Russian experience, its Eurasian nature and extraordinary ethnographic and religious wealth, can be a valuable starting point and, mutatis mutandis, a possible source of solutions also for Central and Western Europe. In this regard, it is important not to underestimate and even deepen contacts at the level of police and judicial structures, as well as security services, with information exchanges, elaboration of common strategies and political cooperation. Trans-national threats can only have equally trans-national approaches. We ought also to recognize that Russia’s unique strategic and political capacities have already shown their effects. For several years, Moscow has been actively engaged in fighting Islamic extremism in the Middle East. The one against Daesh is in fact not only a military conflict, but also a real cultural war, culminating in the rescue of Palmyra and in a difficult but effective process of normalization in Syria. The archaeological site of Palmyra represents no less than the Colosseum or the temples of
Paestum in Sicily, a symbol of civilization that unites not only Russia and the West, but a much larger part of the planet, daughter of classical literary, juridical and religious culture, which sinks its roots in Athens, Rome and Jerusalem. Preventing the destruction of this jewel of humanity has been a merit recognized to Russia by the vast majority of international scientific and academic circles. The fruits of a return to cooperation are obvious. Moreover, this is not a dream or a mere hope, but a path already beaten in the recent past. I just would like to briefly remember that on 18 December 1989, the then Soviet Union and the European Communities signed the Agreement on Trade and Commercial and Economic Cooperation. The first major step towards a closer cooperation was the conclusion of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) in 1994. The PCA established a framework for the political dialogue between Russia and the EU in a number of key spheres, including economy, energy and internal and external security. As Italian Foreign Minister, I had the privilege of attending another fundamental passage with the agreement on four common spaces during the EU-Russia St. Petersburg Summit in 2003. The aforementioned initiatives are concrete examples of the results of mutual respect, willingness to cooperate and awareness of the necessity of being united against the several dangerous international threats we all have to deal with. All this is possible and necessary. It was done once, we need to do it again.

Roma, Italy Franco Frattini



1 Introduction: EU-Russia Relations – Per Aspera ad Astra 1
Evgeny Pashentsev

Part I EU-Russia Strategic Communication: Tendencies and Controversies 15

2 Strategic Communication in EU-Russia Relations 17
Evgeny Pashentsev

3 Focusing on Common Geopolitical Interests: Changing the Focus in EU-Russia Dialogue and Communication? 61
Pierre-Emmanuel Thomann

Abstract The competing narratives between the EU and Russia have revealed parallel interpretations of the different ongoing crises. This “narrative war” has so far led to a worsening of relations at governmental level. It might be time to highlight the potential benefit of greater focus on common interests in order to improve communication among experts and politicians from the EU countries and Russia, and identify common geopolitical interests in order to engage in a strategic dialogue. This approach could help to circumvent the psychological warfare based on rival ideological narratives. The chapter analyzes the disadvantages of strategic communication of the EU, the existing challenges in the relations between the EU and Russia and the urgency of finding solutions for peace and prosperity among the peoples of Europe.

4 Cooperation and Trust: When Russia and the European Union Listen to Themselves 111
Marius Vacarelu

Part II EU-Russia Strategic Communication: Political and Economic Aspects 133

5 Character Assassination as Strategic Communication in EU-Russia Relations 135
Sergei A. Samoilenko and Marlene Laruelle

6 Reputation Management of Russian Companies in the European Union in the Context of Russia and the EU’s Strategic Communication 161
Darya Bazarkina and Kaleria Kramar

7 “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act”: The Psychological Aspect and Its Meaning for EU-Russia Relations 213
Evgeny Pashentsev

Part III EU-Russia Strategic Communication in Security Dimension 257

8 Global Shifts and Their Impact on Russia-EU Strategic Communication 259
Evgeny Pashentsev

9 Counter-Terrorism as Part of Strategic Communication: The EU’s Experience and Possibilities for Russia 313
Darya Bazarkina

Index 359



Darya Bazarkina is a professor at the Department for International Security and  Foreign Affairs, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA); research coordinator on Communication Management and Strategic Communication, International Center for Social and Political Studies and Consulting (ICSPSC); senior researcher at the School of International Relations at the Saint Petersburg State University; member of the research associations: National Law Enforcement Agencies’ History Studies’ Community, East European International Studies Association (CEEISA), European-Russian Communication Management Network (EURUCM Network); and participant of more than 60 international academic conferences and seminars in Russia, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Great Britain, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and Turkey. Darya is an author of 3 books and more than 100 publications on communication aspects of the counter-terrorist activity published in Russian, English and Serbian languages.

Franco Frattini is an Italian Magistrate, appointed State Prosecutor in 1981. Today, he is the Justice and Chamber President to the Italian Supreme Administrative Court (Conseil d’Etat). He served twice as former Italian foreign minister (2002–2004 and 2008–2011) and as vice-president of the European Commission and Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security (2004–2008). Previously, he served as secretary-general of the Prime Minister’s Office (1994), president of the Parliamentary Committee for Intelligence and Security Services and State Secrets (1996), minister for Civil Service and for the Coordination of Information and Security Services (2001–2002), and member of the Prime Minister Commission for Constitutional reforms (2013–2014). Today, he is the president of the Italian Society for International Organization (SIOI), a non-profit organization of internationalist character, working under the supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. He is a special advisor to the Serbian Government for the EU integration process and president of the High Court of Sport Justice (CONI). He is the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the Transdniestrian Settlement Process.

Kaleria Kramar is a researcher at the International Center for Social and Political Studies and Consulting. She holds a master’s degree in Public Relations and Advertising (2019, Lomonosov Moscow State University, the Faculty of Philosophy). She is prize-winner of XVI Russian competition of student projects in the field of development of public relations, advertising and media technologies “Crystal Orange” for the team project in nomination under the auspices of Mayoralty of Moscow “Moscow – a city convenient for the life” within the development of the city policy of Moscow in 2016–2018. The area of current research is strategic communication and cultural aspects of psychological warfare. Kaleria is an author of several publications on different aspects of building communication strategies for product promotion in cultural sphere and brand developing, also of an article on analysis of psychological aspects of counteraction to ISIS in information space in comparison with European experience, in Russian and English languages.

Marlene Laruelle is an associate director and research professor at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES), Elliott School of International Affairs, the George
Washington University. Dr Laruelle is also a codirector of Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia (PONARS) and director of GW’s Central Asia Program. She received her PhD in history from the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Cultures (INALCO) and her “Habilitation” at Sciences-Po in Paris. She recently authored Russian Nationalism: Imaginaries, Doctrines, and Political Battlefields (2018) and edited Entangled Far Rights: A Russian-EuropeanIntellectual Romance in the 20th Century (2018), as well as Eurasianism and the European Far Right: Reshaping the Russia-Europe Relationship (2015).

Evgeny Pashentsev is a Doctor in History (Latin American Studies), leading researcher at the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, professor at the Department of Philosophy of Language and Communication at Lomonosov Moscow State University, director of the International Center for Social and Political Studies and Consulting, coordinator of the European-Russian Communication Management Network (EURUCM Network) and the Russian-Latin American Strategic Studies Association, author and/or editor of 35 books
and more than 160 academic articles, and Honorary Research Fellow at Birmingham University (October–November 2005). He has presented papers at more than 160 international conferences and seminars for the last ten years in 24 countries. His areas of research are strategic communication, military regimes, malicious use of artificial intelligence and international psychological security, perspective technologies and models of social development. He is member of the international Advisory Board of Comunicar (Spain) and the Editorial Board of The Journal of Political
Marketing (USA).

Sergei A. Samoilenko is Lecturer in Public Relations, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. Samoilenko is a founding member of the Research Lab for Character Assassination
and Reputation Politics (CARP), based at George Mason University, Virginia. He is the past president of the Communication
Association of Eurasian Researchers (former ECANA), established to facilitate former Soviet Union–related communication research, education and its practical social application in Russia
and the United States. His research focuses on issues in crisis communication, reputation management and post-Soviet studies. He is a co-editor of The Routledge Handbook of Character
Assassination and Reputation Management, and Deception, Fake News, and Misinformation Online.

Pierre-Emmanuel Thomann is French Researcher, Expert and Lecturer in Geopolitics (Doctor from the French Institute of Geopolitics, Paris 8 University). He is the president/founder of an international association (EUROCONTINENT) based in Brussels, Belgium, to promote geopolitical analysis and foster common interests identification between Nations and States at EU, pan-European (including Russia), Eurasian (Central Asia) and Euro-Mediterranean scales. He participated in 2016 as an expert to the “EU-Russia Experts Network” organized by the EU delegation in Moscow. He was also an adviser at the European Institute of International Relations (IERIBrussels) from 2007 to 2014, a think tank specialized in European strategic issues. Previously, he was the Director of a French region representation office towards the EU (1997–2006).

Marius Vacarelu holds a PhD and is a researcher in political sciences and a legal expert. He graduated from the Law Faculty in Bucharest. Marius
Vacarelu teaches public law in the National School of Political Science and Public Administration since 2005, he is a member of the committee which edits the Romanian magazine GeoPolitica, and is a head of “The Geopolitics of the East Association” which runs the website He is an author/co-author/coordinator of 20 books and more than 180 academic articles. Marius Vacarelu is a frequent speaker on Romanian television on geopolitics issues. He is a blogger to Romania’s most important journal Adevarul. Marius presented papers and published articles in Russia, Czech


Strategic Communication in EU-Russia Relations

Tensions, Challenges and Opportunities

  • Editors
  • Evgeny Pashentsev


  1. Introduction: EU-Russia Relations – Per Aspera ad Astra

Evgeny Pashentsev

Pages 1-14

2.                             EU-Russia Strategic Communication: Tendencies and Controversies

  1. Front Matter

Pages 15-15


  1. Strategic Communication in EU-Russia Relations

Evgeny Pashentsev

Pages 17-60

  1. Focusing on Common Geopolitical Interests: Changing the Focus in EU-Russia Dialogue and Communication?

Pierre-Emmanuel Thomann

Pages 61-109

  1. Cooperation and Trust: When Russia and the European Union Listen to Themselves

Marius Vacarelu

Pages 111-131

3.                             EU-Russia Strategic Communication: Political and Economic Aspects

  1. Front Matter

Pages 133-133


  1. Character Assassination as Strategic Communication in EU-Russia Relations

Sergei A. Samoilenko, Marlene Laruelle

Pages 135-160

  1. Reputation Management of Russian Companies in the European Union in the Context of Russia and the EU’s Strategic Communication

Darya Bazarkina, Kaleria Kramar

Pages 161-211

  1. “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act”: The Psychological Aspect and Its Meaning for EU-Russia Relations

Evgeny Pashentsev

Pages 213-256

4.                             EU-Russia Strategic Communication in Security Dimension

  1. Front Matter

Pages 257-257


  1. Global Shifts and Their Impact on Russia-EU Strategic Communication

Evgeny Pashentsev

Pages 259-311

  1. Counter-Terrorism as Part of Strategic Communication: The EU’s Experience and Possibilities for Russia

Darya Bazarkina

Pages 313-357