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Common Economic Space (CIS)

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Title: Common Economic Space (CIS)  
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Subject: Customs union, Economic and monetary union, Free trade area, Single market, CES, Trade bloc, European integration, Eurasian Economic Community, Preferential trading area, Economic integration
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Common Economic Space (CIS)

For the Eurasian Economic Commission, see Eurasian Union.
Евразийское экономическое сообщество
Eurasian Economic Community
Coat of arms of the Eurasian Economic Community
CIS members
Membership 6 states
 -  Secretary General Tair Mansurov
 -  Customs union 29 March 1996 
 -  OCAC merger 25 January 2006 

The Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC or EurAsEC) originated from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia on 29 March 1996.[1] The Treaty on the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Community was signed on 10 October 2000,[2] in Kazakhstan's capital Astana by Presidents Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, Askar Akayev of Kyrgyzstan, Vladimir Putin of Russia, and Emomali Rakhmonov of Tajikistan. On 7 October 2005 it was decided between the member states that Uzbekistan would join. Freedom of movement without visa requirements has been implemented among the members.[3] A Common Economic Space for the community was launched on 1 January 2010.[4]

The Eurasian Economic Commission is the regulatory agency for the Eurasian Economic Community Common Economic Space and the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia.[5]




Organization of Central Asian Cooperation

The Organization of Central Asian Cooperation (OCAC) (Central Asian Cooperation Organization, CACO, Russian: Центрально-Азиатское сотрудничество, ЦАС) was an international organization, composed of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Russia. Georgia, Turkey and Ukraine had observer status.[7] Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan formed the OCAC in 1991 as Central Asian Commonwealth (CAC). The organization continued in 1994 as Central Asian Economic Union (CAEU), in which Tajikistan and Turkmenistan did not participate. In 1998 it became Central Asian Economic Cooperation (CAEC), which marked the return of Tajikistan.[8]

On 28 February 2002, it was renamed to its current name. Russia joined on 28 May 2004.[9] On 7 September 2005, at the St. Petersburg Summit of the Central Asian Cooperation Organization, it was agreed to merge CACO into EurAsEC.

In October 2005, Uzbekistan applied for membership in EAEC.[10] OCAC has de facto dissolved on 25 January 2006, when Uzbekistan joined EAEC.[11] But later in 2008 Uzbekistan has decided to temporarily suspend its membership.[6]


EAEC was established for effective promotion of the creation by the Customs Union member states of a Single Economic Space and for coordinating their approaches while integrating into the world economy and the international trade system. One of the Organization's chief activity vectors is ensuring the dynamic evolution of the Community states through coordinating their economic and social reforms while effectively using their economic potentials to improve the living standards of their peoples. Among the principal tasks of the Community are:

Institutional framework

  • Interstate Council
  • Integration Committee
    • Energy Policy Council
    • Transport Policy Council
    • Council on Border Issues
    • Council of Heads of Customs Services
    • Council of Heads of Tax Services
    • Council of Ministers of Justice
  • Secretariat
  • Commission of Permanent Representatives
  • Interparliamentary Assembly
  • Community's Court of Justice

Economic data

Country Population GDP 2011 (In Millions USD) GDP 2012 (In Millions USD) per capita
Belarus 9,459,000 59,735 63,259 6,739
Russia 143,455,000 1,899,056 2,021,960 14,247
Kazakhstan 17,027,000 183,107 196,419 11,773
Kyrgyzstan 5,717,000 6,199 6,473 1,158
Uzbekistan 30,214,000 45,353 51,168 1,737
Tajikistan 8,044,000 6,523 7,592 953
EAEC total 213,916,000 2,189,991 2,346,871 10,971

Common Economic Space

After discussion about the creation of a common economic space between the CIS countries of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, agreement in principle about the creation of this space was announced after a meeting in the Moscow suburb of Novo-Ogarevo on 23 February 2003. The Common Economic Space would involve a supranational commission on trade and tariffs that would be based in Kiev, would initially be headed by a representative of Kazakhstan, and would not be subordinate to the governments of the four nations. The ultimate goal would be a regional organisation that would be open for other countries to join as well, and could eventually lead even to a single currency. On 22 May 2003 The Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian Parliament) voted 266 votes in favour and 51 against the joint economic space. However, Viktor Yushchenko's victory in the Ukrainian presidential election of 2004 was a significant blow against the project: Yushchenko had shown renewed interest in Ukrainian membership in the European Union, and such membership would have been incompatible with the envisioned common economic space. On March 1, 2010 the first deputy head of the presidential administration of newly elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, Iryna Akymova stated that Ukraine does not intend to join the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus in the near future "Since the customs union contradicts and will greatly complicate Ukraine's membership in the WTO".[12]

A single market for the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia came into effect in January 2012.[5][13] The next stage is to be the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union by 1 January 2015.[5]

EurAsEC Customs Union

The EurAsEC Customs Union became a top priority since Spring 2008, when the EU announced its Eastern Partnership. Since that time, there has been discord between the EU and Russia with both sides accusing the other of attempting to carve out spheres of influence over the countries at issue (Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine). A supranational body of the customs union—the EurAsEC Customs Union Commission—was established on December 12, 2008. Boiled down to its essence, Russia has offered EurAsEC members access to its markets (i.e., for Kazakhstan) and lower energy prices (i.e., Belarus, Ukraine). The EU's offer to membership countries amounts to promises of de facto EU integration, such as relaxed visa entry requirements.

The Customs Union members—Kazakhstan, Belarus and Russia—reached an agreement on a unified customs tariff in June 2009 and endorsed a schedule for creating a unified customs territory.

According to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev the creation of a common economic space for Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus may be launched on 1 January 2010.[14] Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on 10 December 2008 that Moscow is ready to build a common economic space with both Europe and the United States if every party is treated equally.[15] According to reports from April 2010, the new Customs Union is intended to go into effect on July 1, 2010.[16]

The Russian, Kazakhstani, and Belarusian leaders have approved documents to establish a “common economic space” on 1 January 2012 – a single market for goods, investment, and labor.[17]

Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev has proposed the creation of a common noncash currency called yevraz for the community. This would help insulate the countries from the global economic crisis.[18]

On 3 September 2013, EUobserver reported that Armenia had decided to join the EurAsEC Customs Union. The website quoted a Russian government communique stating that, "Armenia [has] decided to join the Customs Union and take the necessary practical steps to subsequently participate in the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union."[19]

See also


External links

  • Official website (Russian)
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