Integration in Europe: European Union and Eurasian Economic Union

April 19, 2015





The Oesterreichische Nationalbank and the Austrian Ministry of Finance designed a new one-week seminar at the Joint Vienna Institute on “Integration in Europe: European Union and Eurasian Economic Union”, which took place for the first time last October and was successfully held again during April 13-17, 2015.

This innovative seminar responds to the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), which came into being on January 1, 2015. The EEU is an economically integrated region and currently has four member countries – Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia, with a fifth one – Kyrgyzstan – joining in May 2015. The EEU was designed according to the model of the European Union (EU). Whereas it took the latter about 40 years to get from initial ideas of cooperation until actual creation in 1993, the Eurasian Economic Union project was realized much faster, being set up within just 20 years. The big challenge today is to bridge these two economically integrated regions and thus to create benefits for both of them. 

The seminar was targeted at participants from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries working at central banks, ministries of finance or economy, and ministries/secretariats in charge of European integration.

It started with a general introduction to the topic, including a historical overview of the European integration process, the latest economic developments in the EU and euro area after the crisis, the European Banking Union and financing mechanisms by EU, IMF, EIB, EBRD, World Bank, Eurasian Development Bank and other institutions for countries in macroeconomic crisis.

The second part of the seminar was devoted to EU issues and covered mainly the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), its policy strategy, institutional framework and financial instruments, and the evaluation of EU association agreements. A panel discussion on regional cooperation between the EU and EEU, including country case presentations, gave practical insight into the topic.

A third part of the seminar was dedicated to the EEU, which gave a general overview of the regional cooperation within the Union, including its independent evaluation and practical in-depth insights through country presentations. A discussion on the existing and prospective relations between the EU and the EEU rounded up the debate. The final part of the course focused on capital account liberalization and capital flow management measures.

The two courses concluded with an open panel discussion on issues that are relevant to the current economic situation. In October 2014, the topic was “<link _self>Energy Relations in Europe”, while in April 2015, the debate focused on “<link _self>Fiscal Policies for Sustainable Growth”.

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