Universiteit Leiden

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The EU, Russia and the Neighbourhood in Flames: A Practioner's Perspective

  • Tony van der Togt
Date
Friday 20 November 2020
Time
Series
European Union Seminar Series
Location
Online

The EU and its member states have always struggled to develop a workable relationship with Russia, especially concerning their shared, but increasingly contested neighbourhood. Based on his experience as a former Dutch diplomat, Tony van der Togt will speak about decision making within the EU on Common Foreign and Security Policy and how member states like the Netherlands organise their own input into this process. More specifically, he will discuss the making of the EU's Russia policies since the early 1990-s and how EU-relations with the shared neighbourhood in the context of the Eastern Partnership have increasingly turned into a bone of contention between Brussels and Moscow. In particular, he will address how individual EU- member states, like Germany and the Netherlands 'europeanise' some aspects of their relations with Russia, while reserving other aspects, like energy relations for bilateral relations with Moscow.

Mr Van der Togt studied contemporary history and international relations in Amsterdam and Nijmegen. As a Dutch diplomat, he specialised in relations with Russia and Eastern Europe/Central Asia and worked both at the Dutch MFA in The Hague (including as European Correspondent within the CFSP-Department) and at missions abroad in Moscow, Almaty and St Petersburg (where he served as Dutch Consul-General 2008-2011). In 2013 he was responsible for coordinating the organisation of the Dutch-Russian bilateral year. He joined the Clingendael Institute as a Senior Research Fellow in 2014 on secondment from the Dutch MFA and published widely on Dutch and EU-relations with Russia, Eastern Partnership (including on Moldova and Belarus) and Wider Eurasia. In 2018 he returned to the Dutch MFA as a Strategic Policy Adviser, but remains an Associate Senior Fellow at the recently established Clingendael Russia and Eastern Europe Center.

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