In recent years, Russia and the EU have launched many joint projects, including the Energy Dialogue and the Four Common Spaces, and energy cooperation has become the backbone of the Russia-EU relationship. However, the two partners are still unable to agree on a basic set of principles that are to regulate their relations. The EU is often described as a soft power, while Russia often seems more prone to use other power tools. How can these two actors come up with a set of rules they both can subscribe to? – these are central topics underlying the issues to be addressed at our annual conference.