The paper examines Russia's and the EU's approaches to non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
as instruments of public diplomacy (PD). As the EU and Russia increasingly instrumentalize NGOs in their foreign policy, which seems to erode trust in their already burdened relations, the topic presents an opportunity to compare the mechanisms of government–NGO interaction in Russia and the EU. The specific forms, roots, and aims of this phenomenon have often been overlooked in academic research.
To these ends, the author looks into different views and practices of Brussels and Moscow in terms of supporting and financing NGOs in the sphere of public diplomacy. The study demonstrates that the EU's approach
is characterized by significant funding of NGOs abroad as part of governmental public diplomacy efforts. On the other hand, the Russian approach
is mostly characterized by funding national NGOs, which then implement public diplomacy projects aligned with government policies abroad.
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