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International organisations

EURASIAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY

The Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) is an international economic organization, which targets to create in its member states (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) the common customs area, common external economic policy, tariffs, prices, and other components of the common market’s functioning.

EurAsEC is the legal successor of the Customs Union[1].

The Treaty on the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Community was signed on 10 October 2000 in Astana. On 31 May 2001 after the treaty’s ratification by its all member states, the heads of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan announced the beginning of the functioning of new international organization. The establishment of the EurAsEC became first of all the logical end of the process of the organizational-legal unification of the five member countries of CIS, chosen the road of deep and dynamic integrаtion in economic area[2].

Among the principal tasks of the Community are:

  • completing the formalization of a free trade regime in all respects, creating a unified customs tariff and a unified system of non-tariff regulation measures;
  • laying down the common rules for trade in goods and services and their access to external markets,
  • introducing a unified procedure for foreign exchange controls;
  • creating a common unified system of customs regulation;
  • drawing up and implementing joint programs of economic and social development;
  • creating equal conditions for production and entrepreneurial activities;
  • forming a common market for transportation services and a unified transport system;
  • forming a common energy services market;
  • creating equal conditions for access by foreign investment to the sides' markets;
  • giving the citizens of the Community states equal rights in receiving education and medical assistance throughout its territory;
  • converging and harmonizing national legislation;
  • ensuring the coordination of the legal systems of the EurAsEC states with a view to creating a common legal space within the Community.

The governing bodies of the EurAsEC are the Interstate Council, the Integration Committee, the Commission of Permanent Representatives, the Interparliamentary Assembly and the Community's Court of Justice.

Interstate Council
It is the supreme body of the EurAsEC, which consists of the heads of the Community’s member states and governments. The Interstate Council convenes at least once a year on the level of the heads of the states and at least twice a year on the level of heads of the governments.

Integration Committee
It is a regularly functioning body of the EurAsEC, which consists of the deputy heads of the Community’s member states’ governments. The main task of the Committee is to ensure the interaction between the bodies of the Community, to control the implementation of the decisions, made by the Interstate Council (the meetings of the Committee are held at least 4 times a year).

Secretariat
The tasks of the Secretariat are to organize the activities of the Interstate Council and the Integration Committee and to provide information and technical support. The Secretary General of the EurAsEC is appointed by the Interstate Council. (Tair Mansurov [3]).The headquarters of the Secretariat are located in Moscow and Almaty.

Permanent Representatives Commission
The heads of the states appoint the permanent representatives in the EurAsEC. The Permanent Representatives Commission is to support the activities of the Community between the meetings of the Integration Committee., as well as the interaction between the bodies and organizations of the EurAsEC member countries.

Interparliamentary Assembly
The body of the interparliamentary cooperation within the EurAsEC frameworks considers the issues of the harmonization of the national legal systems and of the accordance of the concluded agreements to the above mentioned legislature (Interparliamentary Assembly consists of the 28 PM from the Russian Federation, 14 PM from Belarus and Kazakhstan, 7 from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The Assembly’s Secretariat is located in Sankt-Peterburg).

Community's Court of Justice.
The Community’s Court of Justice secures the unified implementation of the agreements and other treaties, regarding the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Community. The Community’s Court of Justice also considers the economic disputes, rising between EurAsEC member states. (The Community’s Court of Justices is located in Minsk).

Within the Community’s frameworks there is also functioning a number of auxiliary bodies. Affiliated with the Integration Committee are Energy policy council, Transport policy council, Border issues council, Customs services governors’ council, Tax services governors’ council, Justice ministers’ council.

In 2003 the Community acquired the status of observer in the UN General Assembly.
In difference with the member states of the EurAsEC Armenia has more liberal and simplier regime of the currency’s regulation, as for the membership in the Community, then, taking into account the above-mentioned law differences the Republic of Armenia made decision to join the Community with the observer status.
On April 27, 2003 during the regular meeting of the Interstate Council of the EurAsEC the Republic of Armenia acquired the observer status. Armenia as a observer state can fully participate in all economic cooperation programs of the Community, and can be the full member of the Executive Committee, established within the EurAsEC frameworks.

After granting the Republic of Armenia the status of observer the Department’s work is underway more consistently in the sense of the relevant participation in the processes inside the EurAsEC.

The decisions on the establishment of Anti-crisis Fund and the Centre of high technologies of the EurAsEC were made in February 2010 during the meeting of the Interstate Council in Moscow, where the presidents of the member states of the EurAsEC, as well as of Armenia as observer state.

The total amount of the Fund is 10 bln. US dollars. The share of the Russian Federation consists of 7,5 bln. US dollars, Kazakhstan - 1 bln. dollars, Belarus – 10 mln. dollars, Armenian, Kyrgyz and Tajik shares are 1 mln. dollars.
In April 2009 according to the decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia the Armenian Incubator foundation was included into the observer council of the Centre of high technologies of the EurAsEC, currently coordinating all issues, connected with the Centre, and the Ministry of Finances of the Republic of Armenia coordinates the issues of the Anti-crisis Fund.

On May 8 2009, the Ministry of Economy presented to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia the renewed drafts of the agreement “On the Establishment of the Anti-crisis Fund of the Eurasian Economic Community” and the concept of “The Establishment of the Centre of High Technologies of the Eurasian Economic Community”, which passed through the relevant phases of the inter-ministerial coordination.

On May 14-16 2009 on the conference, organized in the Secretariat of the Integration Committee of the EurAsEC, where participated the Deputy Minister of the Finances of the Republic of Armenia, by the member states of the EurAsEC, as well as the representative of the Republic of Armenia were discussed the drafts of the following documents:

  • The drafts of the agreements “On the Establishment of the Anti-crisis Fund of the Eurasian Economic Community” and “On the Establishment of the Centre of High Technologies of the Eurasian Economic Community”
  • The regulations of the establishment of the Anti-crisis Fund.
  • The agreements of the regulations of the means of the Anti-crisis Fund
  • The concepts of the Centre of High Technologies of the Eurasian Economic Community”
  • The regulations of the Centre of High Technologies of the Eurasian Economic Community”

It is worth to mention that the Republic of Armenia, not being the full member of the EurAsEC, fulfills its all functions regarding the Anti-crisis Fund and the Centre of High Technologies with special status and procedures.

On June 9 2009 during the meeting of the Interstate Council (on the Prime Ministers level) in Moscow, after the long consultations on the tariff policy of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, it was declared about the establishment of the Customs Union between these three countries. They also announced that they will join together the World Trade Organization.

At the same day the members of the Interstate Council of EurAsEC (on the Prime Ministers level), as well the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia signed the agreements on the Establishment of the Anti-crisis Fund and the Centre of High Technologies of the Eurasian Economic Community.

On the current phase the above-mentioned documents has passed through the internal domestic procedures. At the Government of the RA the inter-agency commission, which will coordinate and present to the Anti-crisis Fund the investment projects, having the mutual interests and expecting their financing by the Fund.

On October 29 2009, the National Assembly of the RA ratified the treaty on the establishment of the Anti-crisis Fund of the EurAsEC and the agreement on the regulation of the means of the Anti-crisis Fund. On November 18 2009, the relevant notice of ratification was sent to the Secretariat of the EurAsEC.

On November 27, the delegation headed by the President of the RA participated in the 24th meeting of the Interstate Council in Minsk. There was discussed the program of anti-crisis measures, the process of the ratification of the agreements “On the Establishment of the Anti-crisis Fund of the Eurasian Economic Community” and “On the Establishment of the Centre of High Technologies of the Eurasian Economic Community” in the member states, the developments of the external relations in the EurAsEC, the budgetary question, it was also fixed the procedure of the establishment of the Customs Union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
On December 11 2009, in Sankt-Peterburg the delegation headed by the Prime Minister of the RA T.Sargsyan participated in the 24th meeting of the Interstate Council on the level of the heads of the governments. There were discussed the issues relating the establishment of the Customs Union, as well as the anti-crisis measures.

On December 17 2009, the Government of RA transferred to the Anti-crisis Fund 10% (1 mln. US dollars) of its share, the rest 90% Armenia will repay by the obligations.

On December 21 2009, Minister of Finances of RA T.Davtian participated in the first meeting of the Anti-crisis Fund council. During the meeting there was discussed a number of the issues related to the activities of Fund in 2010. The Government of the RA turned to Eurasian Development Bank for receiving the credits at the rate of 500 mln. US dollars.

On January 18 2010, the Integration Committee of EurAsEC received the notice of Kazakhstan about finishing all domestic procedures related to the Anti-crisis package, after this the agreements “On the Establishment of the Anti-crisis Fund of the Eurasian Economic Community” and “On the Establishment of the Centre of High Technologies of the Eurasian Economic Community”, signed on June 9 2009, came into force.

On May 21, 2010, St. Petersburg hosted the meeting of the Interstate Council of EurAsEC, attended by Prime Minister of RA Tigran Sargsyan. Аt the meeting Armenia presented 2 programs to the the Anti-crisis Fund Council: to obtain 1 million USD loan from the Fund for "Nairit" CJSC, as well as the "North-South" railway building project.

On June 18, 2010, the 4-th meeting of the Anti-crisis fund of EurAsEC was held in the framework of St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. The Council of the Fund decided to allocate 1 million USD investment loan for "Nairit" CJSC.

From 4 till July 6, 2010, in Astana the 27-th meeting of the Interstate Council of the EurAsEC was held. The session was attended by the delegation headed by President Serzh Sargsyan. During the meeting discussed were the following issues: the formation of a Customs Union within EurAsEC, joint activities of EurAsEC member States to overcome the consequences of the global financial crisis and the implementation of the budget of the organization. By decision of the Interstate Council of EurAsEC, the Anti-crisis fund allocated 500mln. USD privileged credit to Armenia.

On November 19, 2010, in St. Petersburg the 28th session of the Interstate Council of EurAsEC was held, attended by Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan. A score of issues was discussed during the meeting, including problems related to High-tech Centre of EurAsEC.

On December 9, 2010, the 29th session of the Interstate Council of EurAsEC was held in Moscow, attended by the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan. The main topic of the session was the issue of the necessary legislative framework for the establishment of the Common economic space and the Customs Union within the framework of EurAsEC. As a result of deliberations, the relevant documents were signed. The Presidents of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan adopted the "Declaration on the establishment of the common economic space", noting that in the result of the signing of the 17 inter-state treaties, the common economic space for these three countries is effective starting from 1 January, 2012.

On June 5, 2011, during the meeting of the Anti-crisis fund of EurAsEC, the Russian Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin stated that Armenia can get 400mln. USD loan from the Fund, which can be used to restructure some sectors of Armenian economy.

On 18-19 October, 2011, the delegation, headed by the Prime Minister of RA Tigran Sargsyan, took part in the regular meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of Governments to discuss issues of cooperation in the framework of this organization. The Heads of Governments signed a Treaty of "Free trade zone", which was being negotiated for a long period by the relevant authorities of the CIS countries. The meeting also discussed the implementation of activities aimed at working out the strategy of joint economic development untill 2020, and, in particular, the second phase of the program for the years 2012 -2015.

On October 19, 2011, in St. Petersburg the 31-th session of the Interstate Council of EurAsEC was held, attended by Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan.

On November 12, 2011, Igor Finogenov, the President of the Board of the Eurasian Development Bank and, concurrently, the manager of EurAsEC Anti-crisis Fund, stated that the Bank's specialists are examining the economic component of Armenia’s demand to the Fund, which was presented for the recovery of the chemical industry in the country, including the restoration of "Nairit" CJSC.

On December 19, 2011, in Moscow the 32-th session of the Interstate Council of EurAsEC was held, attended by the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan. The meeting discussed issues related to the reform of EurAsEC. On the outcome of the meeting signed were a number of treaties, inter alia: the establishment of EurAsEC Court, as well as creation of the Common economic space.

The official website of the EurAsEC is www.evrazes.com.

[1] The agreement on the Customs Union between Russia and Belarus was signed in 1995, then Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan joined it.

[2] Uzbekistan joined the Organization in January 2006.

[3] Former Ambassador of Kazakhstan in Russia, governor of the one of the regions of Kazakhstan.

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