Latest news on the Eurasian Economic Union

The Minister in charge of Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Commission has spoke on the recent developments in the EEU
Latest news on the Eurasian Economic Union
17 May 13:07 2016 Print This Article

The future of the sustainable economic development in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and the latest news were the topics addressed by Tatiana Valovaya, the Minister in charge of Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), during the press conference at the Eurasian Communication Center (Rossyia Segodnia) held last week.

“Not only we are experiencing difficulties with economic stability, it pursues a global fashion. – Valovaya said – The economic crisis that began in 2008 and temporary halted in 2012 and 2013 has entered a new phase in 2014. Therefore, the countries of the EEU that are highly dependent on the performance of the world markets, in particular what concerns prices and supply of energy raw materials, have experienced negative growth.”

For this reason, at the end of 2014, the EEC decided to employ the Unions’ internal potential by exercising the common economic space, taking necessary measures to improve the economic performance of the member states and providing for greater coherence of the country’s macro-economic policies. What’s more, it was also decided to work forward a greater integration in order to overcome negative effects of the crisis. In particular, in the document on the main directions of the economic development of the Union until 2030, it is provided for a greater integration of common markets of goods and services and the application of a common policy in the key sectors.

As for the statistics, in 2015, the GDP of the EEU marked -3.1%, largely due to Belorussian and Russian performances, while the other countries have maintained a moderate growth. “Earlier this year, we have noticed a slowdown in economic growth of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. However, in 2016, we expect slightly better results – around -1.4%, while for 2017-2018 there are already signs suggesting to forecast a return to a positive growth.”

“What concerns mutual trade of the EEU countries, in January-February 2016, it fell by -18%, however, at the same time, the trade with third countries decreased by almost 40% for some categories. Therefore, one could conclude that the economic alliance has offset negative impacts of a turbulent situation on the global markets by strengthening the internal capacity.”

Tatiana Valovaya also referred on the comments left by the President of the Russian Federation Council Valentina Matvienko at the Senate of the Republic of Kazakhstan, emphasizing the positive stabilizing role of the “EEU during a period of global economic recession. The minister said that, in 2015, without the Union the economic performance of the most member states would have been way worse.”

The minister in charge of Integration and Macroeconomics of the EEC has also reflected on the question of cooperation between the EU and EEU and the recent proposal of the President of Kazakhstan Nazarbayev for the creation of a joint forum in autumn, stating that as for now the relationship between the two Unions is at an “embryonic stage. There is no in-depth dialogue per se. However, that is not the EEU’s fault. From the very beginning, – the Minister said – the Member States and the EEC proposed to develop a dialogue between the two Commissions, first of all, for the sake of the business communities of both Unions. The European stakeholders, for instance, are asking themselves more often on technical and customs regulations in the EEU – the questions they can’t simply discuss with each member states individually, but only with the EEC directly. Since 2012, we have been proposing our colleagues in Brussels to launch such a dialogue”.

In 2015, the President of the EEC Board Viktor Khristenko sent a corresponding proposal to the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker. However, the answer has arrived later in February 2016 and was rather equivocal. “It says that the EC in general supports such an initiative, however as it rather depends on a wider circumstances it would require a discussion with all member states,” Valovaya said. According to her, the EU per se is relatively skeptical about the EEU in contrast to the European stakeholders. For this reason, the President of Kazakhstan, whose country chairs the EEU in 2016, proposed to launch such a dialogue between the EU and the EEU this year. During his visit to Brussels, “there were talks hold on this regard and we know that there were talks on launching a full-scale conference on the EEU in October to explain our colleagues the advantages the Union offers to the EU community”.

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