Quantifying Economic Integration: Of the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union: Methodological Approaches

This report was published by the Eurasian Development Bank as part of the project 'Challenges and Opportunities of Eurasian Economic Integration,' which envisages a number of high-level round-tables as well as research articles and reports. The objective of the project is to discuss and analyse economic integration in Eurasia, both on the continental scale “from Lisbon to Shanghai,” and in the EU-EEU dimension “from Lisbon to Vladivostok.”

Despite the current crisis, there is objective mutual interest in economic integration. It is based on territorial proximity, significant trade flows, investment ties, economic security issues, the interest of the countries of the emerging EEU in the transfer of European technologies, the mutual need to develop trans-boundary infrastructure, the existence of common neighbouring states, among other things. The authors believe that a comprehensive agreement between the EU and the EEU can become a reality in the next ten years, i.e. in the 2020s. The expert community’s task is to establish a proactive agenda and pave the way to future negotiations.

Because of the existing structure of trade, Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus should be interested not in establishing a simple free trade zone with the EU, but in developing a deep and comprehensive agreement, which would cover trade and investment regimes, the movement of capital, the visa-free regime, the development of the trans-boundary infrastructure, and many other issues (the report mentions 19 domains of negotiations). At the same time, obvious problems associated with trade concessions should be compensated with benefits in other spheres.

To evaluate the effects of economic integration between the EEU and the EU, it is advisable to use a combination of quantitative analysis techniques, from simple to the most complex ones. This will make it possible to consider the diverse consequences of economic integration, model regional integration scenarios, and evaluate the impact on the economy as a whole, its various sectors, trade, population’s incomes, labour migration, and environment. The authors of the report believe that the international expert community will have to do significant work to prepare the grounds for deep integration between the EU and the EEU.

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Last edited: 27 May 2014


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