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The European World After 1989 "Russia in Global Affairs". № 2, July - September 2007

The revolutionary events of 1989-1991 in Central and Eastern Europe, crowned by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Communist bloc, triggered a long and dramatic process in the history of the European states.

Timofei Bordachev, Cand. Sc. (Politics), is Research Director of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, Director of the Center for Comprehensive International and European Studies of the Department of International Economics and International Politics of the State University–Higher School of Economics, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Russia in Global Affairs.

The revolutionary events of 1989-1991 in Central and Eastern Europe, crowned by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Communist bloc, triggered a long and dramatic process in the history of the European states. The geopolitical change in Europe was set in motion, but the results are still unclear. This motion has affected all levels of European life: political systems, the state of relations between European countries, and the domestic “social pacts” in each of them.

Attempts to artificially halt the radical turn on the continent and achieve some sort of status quo have either yielded no result or their outcome is unclear. Such initiatives include the desire to impart a constitutional, rather than treaty-based, nature to European integration, democratize the enlarged NATO and turn it into a “global policeman,” and fix a specific political system for Russia and its relations with its neighbors.

All of these attempts invariably run up against the same problem: on the one hand, there is the desire to preserve the unique role of the sovereign European states. On the other hand, there is a need to limit that role in order to stabilize the institutional system and improve the economic efficiency of Europe as a whole, as well as in each European country. This would include, of course, Russia.

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