Eurasian integration

Meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council

12 August, 2016

Sochi, August 12, 2016. Dmitry Medvedev: "A large common market with free movement of goods, services, capital and labour gives us a serious competitive advantage. We must use it with maximum efficiency so as to facilitate steady development of our respective national economies despite the challenging economic environment".

Meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council

21 December, 2015

December 21, 2015, The Kremlin, Moscow

A meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council was held at the Kremlin.

23 August, 2013

Eurasian Economic Integration in Progress

as of September, 2013

On February 26, 1999, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan signed the Agreement on the Customs Union and Common Economic Space, where the following stages of integration were outlined without any particular deadlines:

In the first stage – providing full-scale realization of free trade, in particular, the non-application of tariffs and quantitative restrictions in mutual trade; the introduction of a common system of indirect taxation and the elimination of administrative, fiscal and other obstacles on the way to free commodity flow.

In the second stage – creation of a Customs Union that presupposes a single customs space, a single duty rate, elimination of customs control on inner state borders, unification of mechanisms for economy and trade regulation;

In the third stage – creation of the Common Economic Space, which presupposes pursuing a common economic policy and sharing common commodities, services and capital market, unification of national legislation, conducting a coordinated policy in the social sphere and science-and- technology.

On October 10, 2000, The EuroAsian Economic Community (EurAsEC) was established consisting of the following member countries: Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. Protocols of accession of Uzbekistan to the EurAsEC Treaty of October 10, 2000, and amendments to the Treaty, were signed in 2006, whereby the membership of Uzbekistan in the EurAsEC was registered and formalized.

In 2008, the President of Uzbekistan I.A.Karimov informed the Integration Committee of EurAsEC that the membership of Uzbekistan was to be suspended. The following countries have been granted the observer status in EurAsEC: Armenia, Moldova, Ukraine, as well as such international organizations as The Interstate Aviation Committee and the Eurasian Development Bank.

The Secretary General of EurAsEC is Mansurov Tair Aymukhametovitch (Kazakhstan).

In December 2003 EurAsEC was granted observer status with the UNO General Assembly.

The main institutions of EurAsEC are: the Interstate Council, the Integration Committee, Commission of Permanent Representatives, Interparliamentary Assembly and Community’s Court of Justice.

Coordination of activity and IT support for the Interstate Council and Integration Committee is performed by the Secretariat of the EurAsEC Integration Committee, headed by the Secretary General of the Community.

The Russian Federation has been a presiding member of EurAsEC since 2011.

EurAsEC is open to all states for membership application if the states share organization’s goals and principles and are ready to assume the relevant responsibilities.

The system of EurAsEC budgeting and the vote ratio in decision-making by the Integration Committee and EurAsEC Permanent Representatives Commission takes into account the member-states’ economic clout. The amount of contributions to the budget and the number of votes are distributed as follows: Russia – 40% (40 votes), Belarus and Kazakhstan – 20% (20 votes each), Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan – 10% (10 votes each). Resolutions at the Interstate Committee are made on a consensus basis.

In 2009 the resolution was made on establishing the Anti-Crisis Foundation within the Community to exercise joint efforts to minimize the negative effect of the world crisis on the member-states’ economies. The Foundation possesses a budget equivalent to 10 billion USD in hard currencies, the share of the Russian Federation constituting 7.5 billion USD, Kazakhstan – 1 billion USD, Belarus – 10 million USD, and Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Armenia – 1 million USD each. The foundation is open to other states and international organizations for membership.

The Center for High Technologies was established within a framework of EurAsEC to promote innovation in the member states’ economies. It is based on and operates within the institutional and facilities framework of the EurAsEC countries, including non-governmental resources.

Issuing from the establishment date of the Customs Union (CU) of January 1, 2010 and finalization of all the relevant procedures by July 1, 2011, the Interstate Committee of  EurAsEC  (the Supreme institution of the Customs Union) at the highest level, endorsed a schedule for creating a unified customs territory of the Customs Union between Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation on June 9, 2009 , in Moscow. The following stages of the schedule were outlined:

-                     The preliminary stage – to be completed by January 2010;

-                     The first stage             – to be completed by July 1, 2010;

-                     The second stage        – to be completed by July 1, 2011.  

On November 27, 2009 the summit participants of the CU members signed a Treaty on the CU Customs Code and agreed upon the action plan for the activation of the Customs code. The agreement was reached on a unified customs tariff (to be implemented of January 1, 2010), the Single Foreign Trade Commodity Nomenclature and other international documents aimed at the unified customs tariff regulation. A resolution on launching the Common Customs Space of the CU was made beginning from July 1, 2010.

On July 5, 2010 a decision was made on entry into force of the Customs Code of the three CU countries: Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan as of July 6, 2010 (in Russia and Kazakhstan the Customs Code has been in effect since July 1, 2010).

The CU has been in full-scale operation since July 1, 2011.

On December 19, 2009, during the unofficial meeting of leaders of the CU member states, the resolution was made on the adoption of the Action plan for establishing a Common Economic Space (CES) for Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, following the CU integration stage. Since January 1, 2012, a set of 17 basic agreements underlying the CES, have been put into effect.

On February 1, 2012 the Treaty on Eurasian Economic Committee (EEC) of November 18, 2011, came into effect during the Moscow summit of the Presidents of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The EEC is formed as a single permanently functioning regulatory authority of the CU and CES.

The EEC, in function since February 1, 2012, replaced the Customs Union Commission (CUC) after the “transition period” that ended on July 1, 2012. The EEC has been granted the vast authority essential for the complex decision-making involved in the progress of integration processes. The scope of EEC authority is planned to be further expanded.

The Collegium of the Eurasian Economic Committee (EEC) was formed with the following members (ministers): V.B.Khristenko (Russia) – the Chairmen; T.D.Valovaya (Russia) – for the main integration directions and macro-economy; T.M.Souleymenov (Kazakhstan) – for economy and fiscal policy; S.S.Sidorsky (Belarus) – for industry and agroindustrial sector; A.A.Slepnev (Russia) – for trade; V.N.Koreshkov (Belarus) – for technical regulation; V.A.Goshin (Belarus) – for customs cooperation; D.K.Akhmetov  (Kazakhstan) – for energy sector and infrastructure; N.Sh.Aldabergenov (Kazakhstan) – for competition and antimonopoly regulation. The EEC Collegium is composed of either ministers or former heads of governments, which reflects the seriousness of approach of the three founding member states to its establishment and functions.

In accordance with the EEC Treaty on EEC, the power on the issues of the CU and CES, earlier belonging to the Interstate Committee of EurASEC, has been transferred to the Supreme Eurasian Economic Committee (SEEC) at the highest level, since November 18, 2011.

On November 18, 2011 at the SEEC Summit, the Presidents of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan adopted a Declaration on Eurasian economic Integration, which presents “a road map” for further integration processes within a framework of the CU and CES. It contains the prospects and goals of Eurasian economic integration, including the establishment of a Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) by January 1, 2015.

On December 19, 2012 the sessions of the SEEC and Interstate Committee of EurAsEC took place in Moscow at highest level. The session adopted the resolution “On the implementation of principal guidelines for integration”, which particularly presupposes authorizing the governments of the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation and EEC to organize the codification of international laws that constitute the contractual legal framework of the Customs Union and Common Economic Space, and, on this basis, to prepare a draft of the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty by May1, 2014. It was decided to conduct three sessions of SEEC at the highest level alternately in the capitals of the CU and CES member states.

The presidents of EurAsEC member states signed a resolution of EurAsEC Interstate Committee “On Optimization of the Secretariat of EurAsEC Integration Committee”, which presupposed the Secretariat downsizing from 97 to 22 people and creating three (instead of 10) departments: for Social Development and Humanities; Frontier Problems, Economic Policy and Target-Oriented Programs; Administration and Procedural and Instructional Issues.

In the course of the SEEC session of December 19, 2012, the President of Kyrgyzstan reaffirmed his intention of investing all the efforts necessary to join the CU. The President of Tajikistan expressed readiness to work on the accession of the Republic of Tajikistan to a number of documents active within the framework of the three CU member states. However, there has been no official application on the part of Republic of Tajikistan to join the CU and CES.

In the course of the SEEC session of May 29, 2013 in Astana, a number of principal issues to determine further integration directions within the CU and CES were discussed. In particular, the state leaders affirmed the agreements on the establishment of Eurasian Economic Union by January 1, 2015, discussed the issues of its operation, as well as agreed upon extending cooperation of the CU countries with Kyrgyzstan and the Ukraine. Memoranda were signed on the development of cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Committee and Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan.

The next session of SEEC at the highest level is going to take place in Minsk on October 24, 2013.

On September 25, 2013 the first session of SEEC at the highest level took place in Astana.