About us

We are convinced that Russia can become one of Europe’s (and thus the world’s) leading countries. In order to achieve this, the Russian expert community should join the discussion on the future of the European civilization currently held in the West. This knowledge will certainly be of use to our country.

Being modern Europeans in today’s Russia – this is the essence of our project. We begin our work and we count on your understanding and support.


Established in 2016, the “European Dialogue” Expert Group has grown today to over 100 members across Russia and Europe.

The Group is a new special-purpose vehicle with the overall objective of facilitating dialogue between selected Russian and the Western audiences, experts and analysts in view of paving a way for a better understanding between our societies on a number of bilateral and global issues and for smoother the West-Russia relations.

In order to involve the Russian expert community and civil society in the discussion on the global and intergovernmental problems, the European Dialogue Expert Group is comprising experts and civic activists who:

  • share European values and principles;
  • stand for abandoning as soon as possible the confrontational approach and getting back to compliance with the norms and principles of the international law;
  • believe that an ongoing dialogue is needed on the existing global and intergovernmental problems, as well as on issues related to the countries’ internal development in a comparative perspective.

The Group is dedicated to deep and effective discussion of the whole range of problems faced by societies in transition, new trends in democratic development, strengthening of the civil society’s role in shaping the global citizenship, functioning of the market economy in view of the approaching the so called fourth Industrial Revolution, new social policy prospects, new global and European security architecture, etc.

The results of the Expert Group activities are planned to be as follows: gaining an understanding – as comprehensive and multi-dimensional as possible – of both general and specific issues faced by the parties involved in the dialogue;  forming a common civic network that goes beyond the state borders, and building the atmosphere of mutual trust; analyzing the existing experience, discussing common positions and finding possible solutions related to the problems encountered by our societies and the humankind in general; forming the agenda for the society, exerting influence on the states’ official positions in order to force them to dialogue and cooperation.

To that end the Expert Group will issue joint statements and declarations, analytic reports, hold public appearances and issue publications to draw the public attention to the most important and pressing issues; hold discussions, expert seminars and civic forums, propose roadmap solutions to solve the most severe problems, stimulate public initiatives.

Our Statement

Coordination Board of the European Dialogue Expert Group

25 years ago Russia shrugged off the Soviet system in order to become part of the civilised world. Over this time the country saw some success: fragments of market economy emerged and we are now free to travel around the world no longer needing a special approval from authorities. However, each one of us who is not just paying a lip service to the need of change, but endeavours to make Russia a country, which is highly respected for the freedom of human growth, clearly sees now that we lost the way that had been picked back in 1991. Instead of opening itself up to the world our country sinks deeper into the abyss of isolationism, clericalism, and xenophobia. Paternalism and doublethink are in full blossom eclipsing a self-sufficient individuality. Instead of political competition for power we see an incredibly bloated state structure, which stability hinges on irremovability of the group that holds on to power. Brainwashing by state-controlled media is in full swing.

Betrayal of ideals, which formed the very foundation of the new Russia proclaimed 25 years ago could only have brought the country to a systemic crisis.

Problems are mounting up across the board in economy, social and political life. It is becoming clear that these long-lasting trends, which slowly but inevitably push Russia to a crash, can be only broken through a deep transformation. But before we understand where to start, we need to know who we – all the people living in this country – are. It has now become proper to link Russia’s future to some sort of a special, almost Eurasian, way of thinking and being, and a talk about spiritual bonds, which are intrinsic to us, is getting increasingly popular. However, no one has clarified yet the meaning of these fine words. One thing that is unambiguously implied in these talks is that we are not Europeans. We disagree with this position. Rejecting something, which has proved to be efficient, and choosing propagandistic eclecticism instead means being irresponsible in the context of the country’s future.

Indeed, the European civilisation spanning from North America across Europe to Japan, South Korea, Australia, and new Zealand is going through rather challenging times. The difficulties are building up: growing inequality gap, global financial crisis, strengthening right and left populism, terrorism. However, all these issues are heavily debated in society and among experts, and these discussions will bear fruit sooner or later. A civilisation that is resting upon democracy, rule of law, and market economy is here to stay. Moreover, the starting technological revolution creates all necessary conditions for this civilisation to continue.

And Russia, as long as it clings to its “distinctiveness”, will keep lagging behind the locomotive of progress and prosperity, moving down to the bottom of the world table of ranks and becoming a third world country that does not have respect of the others. Russia will remain of any interest to the world only as long as it has natural resources, which will be bought at rock-bottom prices, and spawns talented people, who emigrate elsewhere.

We are not satisfied with such humiliating perspective. We believe that Russia stands a chance to be one of the leading European i.e. leading world countries. For this to happen Russian experts must now join the debate on the future of the European civilisation that is currently underway in the West. The knowledge that we gain in the course of this discussion will be useful for our country as well. The essence of our work is to make modern Europeans in present-day Russia. Hereby we kick-off the project and we count on your support and understanding.

Coordinating Board

Evgeny Gontmakher
Elena Lukyanova
Tatiana Parkhalina
Andrey Petrov

Prof. National Research University Higher School of Economics, Member of the Civil Initiatives Committee, Scientific Director, the “European Dialogue” Expert Group

Expert on constitutional legislation, Prof., Doctor of Law, National Research University “Higher School of Economics”, Director, Institute of Monitoring of the Law Enforcement Effectiveness

Expert on Euro-Integration and European security, Deputy Director, Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences under the Russian Academy of Sciences; President, Association for Euro-Atlantic Integration

Expert on international relations, Organizing Committee of All-Russia Civil Forum, head of the Communities Development Group

Nikolay Petrov
Vladimir Ryzhkov
Alexander Sungurov

Head, Center of Political and Geographic Research, Prof., Comparative Politics Department, National Research University “Higher School of Economics”

Professor, National Research University “Higher School of Economics”

Head, Department of Applied Political Science of Saint-Petersburg branch of Higher School of Economics, President of the Interregional Humanitarian and Politological Center “Strategy”, Chief Editor of “Public policy” journal.  Representative of the “European dialogue” in Saint-Petersburg