President Romano Prodi and Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten will represent the European Commission at the 12th Summit between the European Union and Russia, to be held in Rome on 6 November 2003. Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, will head the EU delegation, assisted by the High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana. The summit will seek to make progress on the four common spaces agreed at the St. Petersburg Summit last May. Leaders will also discuss the common democratic values that underpin EU-Russia relations, the prospects for early Russian ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, cooperation on nuclear and maritime safety, and the impact of the EU's enlargement on bilateral relations.
This will be the last Summit before the EU's historic enlargement becomes a reality in May 2004. The importance of extending the EU-Russia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) to the acceding EU member states beforehand will be highlighted.
Following on from the success of the St Petersburg Summit, discussions will address progress achieved in the creation of the four 'common spaces' (economic; freedom, security and justice; research, education and culture; and external security) that will build on the PCA, taking into account the Wider Europe initiative.
The Summit will welcome the agreement reached by the High Level Group in Moscow on 28 October concerning the concept of the common European economic space, which offers a blueprint for economic integration, and will agree on specific implementation measures. Leaders will also endorse the latest progress report on the energy dialogue and will discuss the prospects for Russia's accession to the WTO, including measures to remove Siberian overflight payments and distortions in the Russian energy sector.
Discussions on the common space of freedom, security and justice will emphasise common democratic values, in particular respect for human rights and the rule of law. The EU looks to Russia to quickly conclude negotiations on an EU-Russia readmission agreement, to step up work against organised crime and to promote cooperation on border management, for which it is important that Russia signs and ratifies border agreements with Estonia and Latvia. The long-term perspective of a visa-free travel regime between the EU and Russia and reciprocal visa-facilitation will also be addressed. In addition, an agreement between Europol and the Russian Interior Ministry will be signed in the margins.
As regards the common space of research, education and culture, leaders will welcome the renewal of the Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement, which will be signed in the margins of the Summit, as well as Russian participation in the Bologna process, which provides for the mutual recognition of diplomas.
In the context of creating a common space of external security, the EU and Russia will take note of the tangible progress made in the field of disarmament and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Leaders will also discuss prospects for reinforced cooperation in crisis management and civil protection within existing structures.
Beyond the four common spaces, the EU will seek to intensify cooperation to tackle common challenges, such as maritime safety, nuclear safety and the environment. The EU expects Russia to submit the Kyoto Protocol to the Duma for ratification as soon as possible. Prospects for enhancing cooperation on the Galileo project will also be addressed.
The EU delegation will also raise a number of domestic issues in Russia, in particular developments in Chechnya and the Yukos case. On Chechnya, the EU will focus on the political prospects for a lasting peace in the region as well as the need for Russia to facilitate the provision of humanitarian aid. The case of kidnapped aid worker Arjan Erkel will be raised. In the context of the Yukos case, the Commission will recall the need for the fair, non-discriminatory and proportional application of the law by the Russian authorities. Defendants must be granted due process so that they have a fair chance of defending themselves. The Commission will continue to support the implementation of judicial reforms in Russia since failure to respect these key principles would not only undermine the progress made in Russia in the last few years to create a positive environment for the development of trade and investment by Russian and foreign companies but could also hold back Russia's integration into a common European economic space.
Ways and means to unlock the frozen conflict in the Transdniestrian region of Moldova will provide the focus for discussions on international issues, with an exchange of views on the implementation of Russia's OSCE commitments on military withdrawal from the region. The situation in Iraq and the Middle East, as well as relations with Iran will also feature on the agenda.