Managing the risks of regionalization of Russia in the context of the development of the EEU

Marina F. Tkachenko,
Doctor of Economics, Professor, Head of the Department of International Economic Relations,
Russian Customs Academy,

Ruslan M. Shafiev,
Doctor of Economics, Professor, State Counselor – Civil Service of the Russian Federation of 1st Class,
Russian Customs Academy,

Priority areas for reducing the risks of regionalization of Russia and the formation of a common economic space in the context of the development of the EEU, primarily the EEU member States of the WTO, taking into account the existing law enforcement practice, should include:

  1. The first area is the need to liberalize trade in services. The task is more than complicated, since it affects the internal regulation of individual countries of the Union.

The formation of a single multilateral mechanism for free trade in services is currently impractical, since a General agreement will require a large number of exemptions, coordination of sensitive concessions, and, of course, will become a source of an increased number of conflicts and contradictions. This will certainly reduce the value of the mechanism itself, which is undesirable. Two trends can be traced in this direction.

First, the liberalization of the service market in the following countries (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan) in the formation of a common Eurasian economic space. Secondly, the liberalization of the service market between the CU member States and the EAEU member States of the WTO (Russia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan+ Moldova) will take place in the format of WTO obligations.

Taking into account these trends, it is advisable to regulate trade within the Union in the format of bilateral mechanisms, which will include individual markets of individual countries that are of mutual interest to all the EAEU States, including those whose service markets are not yet sufficiently developed.

  1. The second integration direction of the EAEU development, which is relevant for Russia in reducing the risks of regionalization, is legislative support for migration flows of labor, monetary, financial and investment cooperation of the Union countries.

The proposed agreements on regulating labor migration should stimulate an additional influx of qualified specialists and labor into the national economies of the Union States; include migration flows in the EEU space in the legal format and optimize them taking into account the real needs of the domestic labor market, and strengthen the social protection of migrant workers in the field of medical and insurance coverage.

The logic of the development of integration processes in the labor market in the EAEU demonstrates the need to accelerate the work on harmonization of the existing legal framework, which should meet the partner interests of the interacting parties and be aimed at expanding the legitimate field for migrants and their work, introducing additional channels of naturalization, and simplifying the rules and procedures for legal registration of migration flows.

It is also obvious that, along with the improvement of the legislative and regulatory framework in the labor migration management sector, the development of appropriate infrastructure based on the interaction of state, public and private institutions will be required.

If we talk about regulating labor migration in the EEU, we should take into account that the imperfect regulatory framework in this area, including the registration of labor migrants, reduces the level of investment confidence in the EEU space, and causes dissatisfaction with partners from near and far abroad. It definitely slows down the process of modernization connected with active attraction of foreign investments, professionals and experts, complicates the dialogue towards visa-free regime of EEU countries with the EU.

In the monetary and financial sphere, multilateral cooperation should focus on mutual liberalization of financial markets, unification of currency legislation, expansion of the use of multicurrency in trade between the countries of the Union, as well as the creation of a system of collective payment and settlement mechanisms. Signed on October 18, 2011, the Agreement on the basic principles of policy in the field of currency regulation and currency control was a significant contribution to the creation of a legal framework for deepening cooperation between the CIS countries in the monetary and financial sphere.

The collective currency may become both an international means of payment and a reserve currency in the future. The advantages of such a currency are that it is able to protect the payment turnover from possible negative phenomena in the national currency systems of the EAEU member States of the WTO in the event of a violation of macroeconomic stability, as well as possible crisis symptoms arising in the world payment system. National currencies can and should be used in mutual settlements along with the currency of collective use.

Another crucial area of interaction is the convergence of the infrastructure and procedures for the stock markets of the EAEU countries on the basis of the formation of international and regional financial centers of the Union; smoothing administrative barriers to the admission of financial non-residents from some CIS countries to the markets of other countries of the Union; harmonization of legislation and rulemaking in the stock market and securities sector.

Regulation of investment transfer will require the creation of an interstate regulatory framework that provides a sufficient level of legal guarantees and incentives for launching cross-border investment activities in the Union. Here it is necessary to establish tools for promoting and mutual protection of investments in the EurAsEC space

It will also be necessary to create a civilized mechanism for overcoming differences between regional investors and the EEU countries that accept investments, which will ensure effective extrajudicial resolution of administrative and economic disputes that arise.

  1. The third integrative direction of development of the EAEU countries is the formation of common energy, transport and agricultural strategies, the implementation of which will require fundamentally different approaches in the energy, transport and agricultural spheres.

The tasks for the Union have already been specified in this area. In particular, the stages of formation of the common electric power market of the EAEU member States are defined. A framework program for cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy has been adopted and approved. A project to create an EEU Interstate center for the development of energy-saving technologies is under implementation.

One of the issues raised at the level of the EAEU States is the formation of the EAEU transport corridors and safe international transport transits that pass through the territory of Russia. The problem is caused by the fact that transport corridors were formed on the basis of General rules and standards during the existence of the USSR and they also provide interstate transport flows. Therefore, it is extremely important to ensure the conditions for their uninterrupted use, to adapt transport networks and border checkpoints to the increasing requirements of increasing the speed of goods and passenger traffic between the EAEU States. In addition, there are problems of leveling tariffs for interstate transportation and creating a unified system for charging transit transport by rail, and harmonizing regulations in the field of road and air transport. To solve these problems in this sector of the economy, the creation of the coordinating Committee for transport corridors of the EAEU will be very timely.

Economic ties are indeed becoming more pragmatic. This is true for the entire complex of integration interaction of the EAEU countries. One of these important aspects of cooperation should be the formation of a state policy on export specialization of the EAEU member States of the WTO.

Expert article 2800

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