Be­larus in Eurasian In­te­gra­tion

One of the stages of Eurasian in­te­gra­tion is the for­ma­tion of the Eurasian Eco­nomic Union (EEU) on the ba­sis of the Cus­toms Union and the Sin­gle Eco­nomic Space (SES). The Eurasian Eco­nomic Union Treaty was signed by the lead­ers of Be­larus, Kaza­khstan and

Economy of Belarus - - FRONT PAGE - Alexei DAINEKO, Cor­re­spond­ing Fel­low of the Na­tional Academy of Sciences of Be­larus (NASB), Doc­tor of Eco­nomics, Pro­fes­sor, Di­rec­tor of the In­sti­tute of Eco­nomics at the NASB

In­te­gra­tion of the New Type

The dis­tri­bu­tion of func­tions be­tween na­tional and supra­na­tional bod­ies in the Eurasian Eco­nomic Union has not been agreed upon yet. The ex­pe­ri­ence of other coun­tries sug­gests that in or­der to at­tain a higher level of in­te­gra­tion, mem­ber states need to trans­fer some of their func­tions to a supra­na­tional body. At the same time, mem­ber states strive to re­tain their na­tional sovereignty. Even in the EU where the supra­na­tional bod­ies are fully op­er­a­tional, politi­cians and schol­ars are still cau­tious about them: in­stead of the term “trans­fer of part of na­tional sov­er­eign rights to the supra­na­tional bod­ies”, they of­ten use the term “shared sovereignty”.

The Eurasian Eco­nomic Union is ex­pected to em­body an ab­so­lutely new type of in­te­gra­tion of postSoviet states that share common his­tory, lan­guage, cul­ture, and men­tal­ity. Po­lit­i­cal sovereignty and ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity of the mem­ber states will re­main in­tact. The part­ners will be ab­so­lutely equal, with no one dom­i­nat­ing over oth­ers. Tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion that some de­ci­sions might dis­agree with na­tional in­ter­ests of some part­ners, each mem­ber state should be able to have the right to veto them.

Eurasian in­te­gra­tion has two con­stituent parts: hor­i­zon­tal in­te­gra­tion and ver­ti­cal in­te­gra­tion.

Hor­i­zon­tal in­te­gra­tion is about the uni­form eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment reg­u­lated by the common le­gal frame­work (free move­ment of goods, fi­nan­cial re­sources and work­force within the common ter­ri­tory, uni­form trade tar­iffs, com­pe­ti­tion prin­ci­ples and rules, terms of ac­cess to pub­lic pro­cure­ment con­tracts and ser­vices of nat­u­ral mo­nop­o­lies).

Hor­i­zon­tal in­te­gra­tion has trans­lated into the es­tab­lish­ment of the Cus­toms Union and the Sin­gle Eco­nomic Space. This type of in­te­gra­tion does not threaten the sovereignty of the mem­ber states, be­cause it serves as a back­ground where univer­sal rules of the game are de­vel­oped. In line with the agree­ments, supra­na­tional bod­ies pro­tect and pro­mote common in­ter­ests of the mem­ber states on the in­ter­na­tional arena and act as an ar­bi­tra­tor when dis­putes arise be­tween par­tic­i­pants of an in­te­gra­tion project.

If ex­ist­ing re­stric­tions and ex­emp­tions are re­moved within the Sin­gle Eco­nomic Space, the ben­e­fits of hor­i­zon­tal in­te­gra­tion will be­come ob­vi­ous for all the mem­ber states. Be­larus’ ma­jor ob­jec­tives are an un­ob­structed ac­cess to the mar­kets of Rus­sia and Kaza­khstan and the abil­ity to im­port raw ma­te­ri­als at do­mes­tic prices of th­ese states.

Ver­ti­cal in­te­gra­tion, un­like the hor­i­zon­tal one, im­plies the for­ma­tion of supra­na­tional bod­ies that will as­sume the func­tions of a cen­tral au­thor­ity. They will pur­sue a common pol­icy across var­i­ous eco­nomic sec­tors. This will lead to the par­tial loss of sovereignty of the mem­ber states.

Tak­ing into ac­count that the eco­nomic po­ten­tial of Rus­sia is in­com­pa­ra­ble with that of Be­larus, Kaza­khstan and Ar­me­nia, there are ob­jec­tive rea­sons why Rus­sia is in­ter­ested in ver­ti­cal in­te­gra­tion. In fact, Rus­sia nur­tures the am­bi­tions to in­crease its role in the global pol­i­tics and econ­omy as the core of a re­gional group­ing. Con­sid­er­ing dif­fer­ent eco­nomic po­ten­tials of the mem­ber states, Rus­sia’s in­ter­ests will al­ways pre­vail when it will come to the key points of the EEU eco­nomic pol­icy.

Be­sides, the anal­y­sis of the op­er­a­tion of the Eurasian Eco­nomic Com­mis­sion sug­gests that in­di­vid­ual ini­tia­tives of the supra­na­tional

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