EU - Russian Federation

Russia, like Europe, is facing major challenges - the acceleration in the pace of economic change, the effect of the new technological revolution and the development of the knowledge economy, the global pursuit of sustainable development, the ageing of population or the urban-rural divide.

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On 23 May 2007, a Memorandum of Understanding on regional policy cooperation was signed with the government of the Russian Federation to exchange information and best practices on experiences in setting up and implementing cohesion policy.

signature of the memorandum

There are a number of specific issues in which Russia and the EU face similar challenges and/or in which EU experience may be valuable to further develop regional policy making in Russia, as for example:

  • EU experience in devising instruments in support of innovation-driven regional development
  • Preparation of regional development strategies and implementation programmes(increase of coherence between regional development strategies, implementation programmes and funding means).
  • Information exchange on financing foreseen from structural funds in 2007-2013 for EU regions bordering Russia and project foreseen for funding, as well as on financing foreseen from Russian Federal and Regional funds for these regions. This will enable border regions on both sides of the border to take information properly into account in their own planning and better cooperate towards addressing issues of common concern such as increasing border congestion, lack of interconnectivity of infrastructure or people-to-people contacts.
  • Classification and definition of regions
  • Multi-level governance (interactions between state and sub-state governmental actors, as well as non-state actors that are mobilized in cohesion policy-making and implementation) and training in self-governance
  • Strengthening of the statistics 'tool box' to inform regional policy making in Russia, improve comparability of indicators
  • Spatial planning; ethnic minorities; urban dimension.
  • Exchange of experience on restructuring and employment programmes carried out in EU and Russian cities depending in the past on single industries that have gone through or are facing restructuring and diversification ("mono-sectoral cities")

In addition, the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) creates an opportunity for fostering EU-Russia cooperation on areas identified as of key importance. The Northern Dimension provides an overall frame for EU-Russia cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region. The conclusions of the November 2010 Northern Dimension Ministerial meeting underlines the EUSBSR's role in the practical implementation of the Northern Dimension Policy, welcomes constructive proposals for cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region and emphasizes the useful role that the Northern Dimension Policy and its structures in diverse sectors can play in coordinating and forging this cooperation for the benefit of the whole region. The Northern Dimension Steering Group serves as the main structure to further cooperation.

The EU-Russia Partnership for Modernisation of 2010 provides as well a good framework to cooperate with Russia in the field of regional policy and its Work Plan contains specifically relevant provisions on "Balanced development by addressing the regional and social consequences of economic restructuring".


Memorandum of Understanding on regional policy cooperation with Russia PDFENru


Seminar "EU-Russia cooperation on regional policy: integrated development plans in former single-industry towns ("mono-cities")", Brussels, 12 October 2011

Seminar on international dimension of regional policy, Brussels, 2007

Seminar on "Regional development strategies and governance", Moscow, 3-4 June 2008

Seminar on "Multi-level governance and institutional capacity building", Moscow, 19 May 2009

Seminar "Challenges facing mono-sector cities", Brussels, 5 October 2010

  • Dealing with Auto Industry Rundown and Closures: A Perspective from Birmingham - David Bailey, Caroline Chapain Text EN
  • Mono-sector cities in Russia: present position, development trends and state policy - Alla Makhrova, Vladimir Shuvalov , Dmitry Zemlyansky TextEN
  • Revitalization actions in the city of Terrassa - Joan Chicón PDF EN

Study visits

Study visit of a Russian delegation to Trieste (Italy) on the topic of governance of regional policy (February 2008)

Study visit of a Russian Delegation to Northern Ireland on the topic of cross-border cooperation and PEACE programme (Northern Ireland, May 2010)

In 2013, a technical assistance project was carried out, including training and information sessions, study visits and workshops for participants from the Russia-Ukraine border area, with the overall aim of offering participants a source of reference when further developing their policy strategies and actions in order to promote better cross-border cooperation.
Final Report PDF