Current relationships between EU and Russia experience serious challenges. Saving and developing interconnections, achieved between Russian and European societies over last decades, should be among the key priorities of Russian international affairs. Searching for solutions for the common environmental and economical challenges provides a promising background for Russian-EU collaboration.
Urbanization is a current trend with economical, political and environmental consequences, similarly important for Russia and EU countries. European countries have been experiencing urbanization for centuries and therefore have developed approaches and technologies to deal with its consequences for society and environment. Russia used to be mainly an agrarian country till the second half of the 20th century. However, urbanization, currently occurring in several ‘hotspots’, like, for example, the New Moscow Project, is comparable or exceeds European tendencies. The internal changes generating inside Russian society make it essential to continuously exchange the information, experience and skills with socially more developed European partners having the same historical, spiritual and cultural background.
The purpose of such exchange is to ensure the wide understanding of the most advanced social practices and to find solutions for challenges, familiar to both Russian and European societies. The importance of social, environmental and economical consequences of urbanization on-going in Europe and in Russia and the necessity to find solutions for them has built up the rationale for the current project.