NGOs in Russia and external actors : comparing the strategies of the Council of Europe and the European Union in promoting non-state actors

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Bardou, Eve-Emmanuelle
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The policy of the CoE and the EU includes a large range of means to promote human rights (HR) and to support NGOs in Russia. The question for CoE and EU policymakers is no longer whether, but how to achieve NGO involvement by bringing changes in Russia’s HR behaviour. This research represents a case study on a new Russian legislation on NGOs from 2006 that aims at restricting the activities of these civil society actors. This analysis argues that current CoE and EU policies have a limited and short-term effect on the development of the Russian NGO community. The two institutions need to concentrate on improving the adequacy of their strategies to foster Russia to respect HR. This paper offers recommendations to adapt their strategies considering the current context of the CoE and the EU relation with Russia. This analysis shows that pressurising the state by a top-down approach should be privileged when the environment for NGOs is too restrictive. However, it seems more adequate to combine this approach with a bottom-up strategy.
Second semester University: University of Hamburg
administration of justice, Russian Federation, Council of Europe, foreign relations, European Union, law, NGOS