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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: 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 negotiation s 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: International Relations, Diplomacy, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Kazakhstan
  • Author: Michael Emerson, Denis Cenusa, Tamara Kovziridse, Veronika Movchan
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: While EU and US sanctions against Russia over its aggression in Ukraine, and Russia's counter-sanctions, are much discussed due to their evident political significance, less attention has been given to Russia's punitive sanctions against the three Eastern European states – Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia – that have signed with the EU Association Agreements (AA), which include Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) provisions. This paper therefore documents these trade policy restrictions and embargoes imposed by Russia, and provides some first indications of their impact. The immediate impact on trade flows, especially for agri-food products, has been substantial, albeit with some leakage through Belarus. The main instrument for the Russian measures has been allegations of non-conformity with Russian technical standards, although the correlation of these allegations with movements in Russia's geopolitical postures makes it obvious that the Russian technical agencies are following political guidelines dressed up as scientific evidence. These measures also push the three states into diversifying their trade marketing efforts in favour of the EU and other world markets, with Georgia already having taken significant steps in this direction, since in its case the Russian sanctions date back to 2006. In the case of Ukraine, Russia's threat to cancel CIS free trade preferences infiltrated trilateral talks between the EU, Ukraine and Russia, leading on 12 September to their proposed postponement until the end of 2015 of the 'provisional' implementation of a large part of the AA/DCFTA. This was immediately followed on 16 September by ratification of the AA/DCFTA by both the Rada in Kyiv and the European Parliament, which will lead to its full and definitive entry into force when the 28 EU member states have also ratified it. However Putin followed the day after with a letter to Poroshenko making an abusive interpretation of the 12 September understanding.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Power Politics, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia
  • Author: Elena Gnedina, Evghenia Sleptsova
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Ukraine has long been castigated for its noncommittal attitude to cooperation with the EU, this being part of its 'multi-vector' foreign policy. Such a policy was widely attributed to the failings of domestic elites, which delay reform for fear of losing rents and power. This CEPS Working Document suggests, however, that the recent setback in EU-Ukraine relations highlights more complex reasons behind this. First, it asserts that a pro-European vector is not a self-evident choice for Ukraine, which is economically interdependent with both Russia and the EU. Second, it finds that the economic crisis has made the EU less attractive in the short term. In good times business was looking to Europe for opportunities to develop. But in times of crisis, it is looking to Russia for cheap resources to survive. Despite these unfavourable short-term trends, the authors conclude that an association agreement with the EU stands out as the only alternative that promises to put the shaky Ukrainian economy back on track towards long-term sustainable economic growth.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Michael Emerson, Evgeny Vinokurov
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: There is at present an overlapping but inadequately coordinated combination of strategic trans-continental transport corridors or axes stretching across the Eurasian landmass, centred on or around Central Asia. There are three such initiatives - from the EU, China and the Asian Development Bank, and the Eurasian Economic Community. This paper reviews these several strategic transport maps, and makes proposals for their coordination and rationalisation. So far the EU Central Asia strategy has not paid much attention to these questions. However the EU's own initiatives (the Pan-European Axes and the TRACECA programme) are in need of updating and revision to take into account major investments being made by other parties. In particular the case is made for a 'Central Eurasian Corridor' for rail and road that would reach from Central Europe across Ukraine and Southern Russia into West Kazakhstan, and thence to the East Kazakh border with China, thus joining up with and completing the West China-West Europe corridor promoted by the Asian Development Bank. There should also be a North-South corridor that would cross over this Central Eurasian Corridor in West Kazakhstan and lead south to the Middle East and South Asia. These adaptations of existing plans could become an exemplary case of cooperation between Central Asia and all the major economic powers of the Eurasian landmass.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Central Asia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan
  • 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: 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
  • Author: Paul Brenton, Miriam Manchin
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The economic prospects of the Mediterranean countries are currently constrained by the lack of ambition in their relationships with each other and with their major export market, the EU. These economic relationships are limited by a lack of coverage (agriculture and services are effectively excluded), by a lack of depth (substantial technical barriers to trade remain due to differences in regulatory requirements and the need to duplicate testing and conformity assessment when selling in overseas markets), and they are limited by rules (restrictive rules of origin and lack of cumulation limit effective market access). In addition, the rest of Europe, including Turkey, is integrating at a faster pace to create a Wider European Economic Space. If nothing is done to invigorate the integration process in the Mediterranean, then the region will fall (further) behind relative to other regions on the periphery of the EU, such as the Balkans and Russia and the Ukraine.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Ukraine, Middle East, Balkans