Nikolai SAMOSEIKO, Chairman of the Permanent Commission for International Affairs, the House of Representatives:
thanks to its greater depth and liquidity. The EEU has over 1,000 banks with about $250 billion in the aggregate capital, approximately $2 trillion in assets and roughly $1 trillion in the stock market.
With the finance laws harmonized by 2025 the EEU will decide on the powers and functions of a supranational body to regulate the financial market which is expected to be headquartered in Almaty. The single currency in the EEU is not the issue of a midterm perspective. This is the final stage of the integration process. However, now Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan are discussing, at the level of the central banks, the integration of the national payment systems and the project to create an analogue to SWIFT.
The member states agreed to pursue a synchronized energy policy and create a common energy market. Thus, the formation of the single electricity market is scheduled to be completed in 2019. Since the expenses on electricity are included in the cost of any products, goods and services, this may become one of the main catalysts of the economic growth in the EEU member states, experts say.
As for the sensitive “oil” issue, the member states plan to sign an international agreement to set up the common oil and gas markets by 2025. It is stipulated that Belarusian oil refineries will be fully provided with oil for the period up to 2025 when the common market of oil and oil products is operational.
The member states also plan to outline the main areas of industrial cooperation. The parties have agreed to implement a coordinated agro-industrial policy. There are plans to introduce the common Made in EEU brand to promote the image of the EEU goods on the domestic and foreign markets.
It is of prime importance that numerous issues related to labor migration have been settled. New rules will come into force in January 2015. In particular, workers of the Eurasian Economic Union member states will have the right to work either under a labor contract or a civil law contract. The EEU envisages uniform income taxation rules for natural persons from the first day of work on an equal footing with nationals of the country of employment.
Besides, the parties agreed on the principle of mutual recognition of education certificates without conducting any additional confirmation procedures. The EEU Treaty establishes the right of workers to undertake professional activities according to the profession and qualifications obtained in the home country. According to the established norms, the country of employment provides medical assistance to workers of the member states on an equal footing with its citizens. Social insurance of workers of the member states is carried out under the same conditions and in the same manner as of the citizens of the state of employment.
The member states are also working on a separate international agreement to secure equal rights and guarantees in pension coverage and protection of pension rights of employees in the EEU.
In general, the EEU Treaty creates the necessary legal terms to develop the single market for services, the single financial market, conduct a coordinated tax and currency policy, protect intellectual property rights, and regulate labor migration. These measures will promote cooperation between business entities of the countries and expand their trade and economic ties.
Competition Against Prices
The development of the EEU common market goes hand in hand with the efforts to cultivate healthy business competition. The Agreement on Single Principles and Competition Rules signed by Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia in 2010 was a serious step in this direction. The main purpose of the document is to secure equal economic conditions and shape the single competition policy in the Single Economic Space. The next important step was the signing of the model law on competition in 2013, which outlined common approaches to the law on competition.
The Eurasian Economic Commission has been vested
Mutual recognition of licenses in the banking, insurance and securities market is a key objective of economic integration
with the functions to monitor the compliance with the common competition rules on the crossborder markets in the Customs Union and the Single Economic Space. Jointly with the national anti-monopoly authorities the Eurasian Economic Commission has been studying the crossborder merchandise markets. The Commission also organizes events on competition advocacy, educates the business community about the anti-monopoly legislation and works on its improvement.
Since the competition policy is one of the fundamentals of the Eurasian Economic Union, it is expected that the introduction of the model law on competition to the national antimonopoly legislations of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia will be completed by the 2014 yearend, Minister for Competition and Antimonopoly Regulation of the Eurasian Economic Commission Nurlan Aldabergenov said at the international conference in Vitebsk.
In order to boost competition the EEU needs to address the issues that are important not only for business but also for the EEU nationals, the minister stressed. For example, the EEU countries should gradually move towards free-of-charge roaming services in the union. The European Union can serve as an example here. The situation on the passenger transportation market also raises some questions: air fares are equal to the cost of rail compartment tickets. The Eurasian Economic Commission is also studying the pharmacy market of the three member states.
“We are doing an extensive research into all these problems. I think that in early 2015 we will present the results of the analysis and proceed to the practical part of the project, i.e. a dialogue with transportation companies and organizations,” Nurlan Aldabergenov said.
The EEC came forward with an initiative of setting up working groups to analyze merchandise markets. Starting from 1 January 2015, when the Eurasian Economic Union becomes fully operational, the relevant bodies will have all necessary authorities to remove barriers and other issues.
Parallel imports are also an important issue that needs to be addressed. It is expected that