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  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper looks at the trade policy landscape of the EU and the wider Europe, with a focus on issues arising from the signature on 27 June 2014 of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs) between the EU and three East European countries (Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), and actual or prospective issues relating to the customs union of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan (BRK), and the Eurasian Economic Union whose founding treaty was signed on 29 May 2014. While the contrived collision between these projects has tragically induced Russia to break all the established international security norms by waging war against Ukraine, the present paper deals essentially with trade policy issues. The huge expansion of intercontinental free trade area negotiations currently underway, in which the EU is an active participant alongside much of the Americas and Asia, stands in contrast with Russia's choice to restrict itself to the Eurasian Economic Union, which is only a marginal extension of its own economy. Alone among the major economies in the world, Russia does not seek to integrate economically with any major economic bloc, which should be a matter of serious concern for Moscow. Within the wider Europe, the EU's DCFTAs with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia are a major new development, but Russia now threatens trade sanctions against Ukraine in particular, the economic case for which seems unfounded and whose unilateral application would also impair the customs union. The Belarus-Russia-Kazakhstan customs union itself poses several issues of compatibility with the rules of the WTO, which in turn are viewed by the EU as an impediment to discussing possible free trade scenarios with the customs union, although currently there are far more fundamental political impediments to any consideration of such ideas. Nonetheless this paper looks at various long-term scenarios, if only as a reminder that there could be much better alternatives to the present context of conflict around Ukraine.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, Europe, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Asia, Georgia
  • Author: Pekka Sulamaa, Mika Widgrén
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This study simulates the economic effects of eastern enlargement of the EU and an EU-Russian free trade area. The main emphasis of the paper is on the effect this would have on the Russian economy. The simulations were carried out with a GTAP computable general equilibrium model, using the most recent GTAP database 6.0 beta, which takes the former Europe agreements between the EU-15 and the eight new Central and Eastern European member states into account. The results confirm the earlier findings that a free trade agreement with the EU is beneficial for Russia in terms of total output but not necessarily in terms of economic welfare when measured by equivalent variation. The main reason behind this is the deterioration that would occur in Russia's terms of trade. Improved productivity in Russia would, however, make the free trade agreement with the EU advantageous.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Ángel Ubide
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Since the Asian crisis, the IMF has undergone a deep process of soul searching, trying to extract lessons from the experience. External criticism has been abundant, and basically all three of the IMF's main areas of work – surveillance, crisis prevention and resolution, and poverty reduction – have been called into question. Several years later, there is a feeling that not much has been achieved, and key questions remain unanswered. As the world business cycle matures, and thus the likelihood of further crises slowly increases, it is critical for the stability of the world financial system to discuss what the IMF's business model should look like.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Evgeny Vinokurov
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The Kaliningrad oblast of Russia is currently an important focal point of discussions between the European Union and Russia. Although small in terms of geography and population, Kaliningrad has grown in importance due to the EU enlargement process. Since the break–up of the Soviet Union, the oblast has become an exclave of Russia, and it is now set to also become an enclave within the EU. This paper examines the state of Kaliningrad's economy and trade. The economic crisis that took place in Russia in the 1990s had severe consequences for Kaliningrad, as old patterns of production and trade were disrupted. Since 1999, however, the regional economy has grown with impressive speed. Kaliningrad's Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status has played a crucial role in determining its new patterns of production and trade specialisation. The paper argues that the SEZ regime has made the region's economic growth faster but also vulnerable.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia