CULTURAL AND EDUCATIONAL DIMENSIONS OF EU SOFT POWER
The article is devoted to consideration of the specific "soft power" of the European Union. As the theoretical foundations of the study dedicated the American, Russian and European approaches to the essence and content of "soft power" of the state, as well as other similar concepts such as "civilian power", "normative power." The basic criteria of "soft power" was proposed by the founder of the conception J. Nye and by other experts. The major European countries with the greatest potential of "soft power" influence are considered to be the UK and France. They make the greatest contribution to the process of creation of "soft power" in the EU. The article deals with the attempts of the EU to institutionalize the mechanisms of "soft power". The main two criteria are cultural and educational attractiveness of Europe. The identified trends, which suggest that the cultural identity of individual European countries is falling by the wayside, represent the elements of the EU diplomacy. This is substantiated by the fact that it is a legal and regulatory framework of the European "soft power", that is also confirmed by the official representatives of the EU. However, as within any integration process, in the process of "soft power" building the EU has a number of obstacles. The authors make conclusions about the prospects for the European Union to apply the elements of "soft power", as well as the readiness of the European countries to delegate a part of their cultural potential to the European community.