Priorities of the Russian Chairmanship in the Eurasian Economic Union. EEC Lecture at the Higher School of Economics.

On February 14, 2018, the Higher School of Economics hosted a lecture on “Priorities of the Russian Chairmanship in the Eurasian Economic Union”.  The lecture was given by Sergey Shukhno, Director, Department for the Development of Integration, Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC).

Timofei Bordachev, PhD (Politics), director, Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies (CCEIS), Higher School of Economics, gave short introduction to the lecture.

At the beginning of the lecture, Sergei Shukhno noted that the agenda for the development of the Eurasian Economic Union was set out until 2025, taking into account the Union’s obvious competitive advantages: market size, huge territory, geography, transit potential, diversity and richness of raw materials and natural resources, as well as human potential.

Referring to the recent address by Russian president Vladimir Putin to the heads of state of the Eurasian Economic Union member states, the lecturer took a look at the initiatives of the Russian Federation in the EAEU for 2018.  Since January 1, 2018, Russia has assumed the chairmanship of the bodies of the Eurasian Economic Union: the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council and the Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission.  In 2018, the EAEU aims to accelerate the implementation of the common digital agenda, a more spot-on use of the financial resources of the Eurasian Development Bank and the Eurasian Stabilization and Development Fund, in order to finance intergovernmental projects that have a high integrative effect.

The Director of the EEC Integration Development Department also noted that it would be necessary to establish a joint policy of the EAEU member states in areas that are not yet covered by the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union.  This includes nuclear energy, renewable energy sources, ecology, medicine, space, tourism, sports, further deepening of inter-regional cross-border cooperation of the member states, and the development of cooperation in the social and humanitarian sphere.

The main emphasis of the initiatives of the Russian side is the development of the goals and objectives defined in the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union. They are aimed at strengthening the Union.  The lecturer emphasized the need to optimize efforts to create new markets for goods and services, to ensure conditions for the free movement of capital and labor.

At present, there still is a number of categories of goods, the movement of which is regulated at  the national level: gas, electricity, oil products, tobacco and alcohol.  Nevertheless, for each of these markets, measures are being taken, regulatory and legal frameworks are being created, road maps are being adopted. 

Sergey Shukhno explained the future plans of the EAEU: in 2025 a single financial market will be created.  Thus, any bank of a member state of the EAEU will be able to work without additional licenses in other member states. This will also concern the activities of insurance companies and other financial institutions.  National stock exchanges will have to recognize the licenses of brokers and dealers issued by authorized bodies of any of the Union’s member states.  In this context the creation of a supranational body  with headquarters in Astana to regulate the common financial market is planned.

Не обошёл стороной Сергей Шухно и функционирование других общих рынков, подробно остановился на вопросах цифровизации ЕАЭС. После выступления слушатели лекции смогли задать ряд вопросов. В частности, многих заинтересовала сотрудничество ЕАЭС с третьими странами, перспективы создания сети зон свободной торговли, возможность вступления в Союз новых членов.

Conditions for the free movement of labor between the Union’s countries has already been established.  The obvious benefit of the common labor market is the possibility for a person to find employment in another EAEU country, to get health benefits and pensions, to be able to take your family with you and to put your children into kindergarten, school, university.

Sergey Shukhno did not ignore the functioning of other common markets. He dwelled in detail on the digitalization agenda of the EAEU.  After his lecture, the listeners could ask him a number of questions.  In particular, many were interested in the cooperation of the EAEU with third countries, the prospects for creating a network of free trade zones, the possibility of joining the Union of new members.

The lecture was the ninth as part of the open educational special lecture course on Eurasian economic integration. The special lectures course is organized by the Eurasian sector, CCEIS, Higher School of Economics in official cooperation with the  Eurasian Economic Commission.

Text: Nadezhda Tynnikova

Translation: Maria Zvereva

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