16 – 18 of June 2016 the XX. anniversary of the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (#SPIEF2016) took place in Russia’s “northern capital”. One of the main topics of the forum prospects and challanges of creating a “Greater Europe”, i.e. a common economic space from Lisbon to Vladivostok.
The high-level forum was attended by Jurij Kofner, director of the Center for Continental Cooperation (think-tank) and visited all the sections devoted to economic relations between Europe and Russia-Eurasia.
At the plenary session of the president of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and the president of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev officially offered their European partners cooperation in building a common economic space between the EU and the Eurasian Economic Union. The EAEU integration project would be open to the West.
A good signal in this regard was the participation in the SPIEF 2016 of Jean-Claude Junkers, the President of the European Commission. Tigran Sarkisyan, chairman of the Eurasian Economic Commission proposed to strengthen cooperation on the scientific and expert levels to study the prospects of building a common space “from Lisbon to Vladivostok and Singapore.”
The fact that this expert dialogue already exists, was elaborated by the director of the Center for Integration Studies of the Eurasian Development Bank Evgeny Vinokurov at a session of the Valdai Discussion Club. At IIASA, located in Vienna, together with the EEC and the EADB a joint research project “Challenges and opportunities for economic integration in the wider European and Eurasian space” has been going on since 2014 and is likely to continue to 2022. The session was also attended by Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.