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EAEU outcomes: Pension Agreement for Working Population signed, Action Plan to be implemented before launching the EAEU common electric power market approved

EAEU outcomes: Pension Agreement for Working Population signed, Action Plan to be implemented before launching the EAEU common electric power market approved

12/20/2019

A meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council (SEEC) was held on December 20 in St. Petersburg (Russian Federation). The meeting was attended by Nikol Pashinyan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus, Sooronbay Jeenbekov, President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, Nursultan Nazarbayev, First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Honorary Chairman of the SEEC, Tigran Sargsyan, Chairman of the EEC Board, and Igor Dodon, President of the Republic of Moldova – as the Head of the Observer State at the EAEU.

The SEEC Members have considered the issues of further Eurasian integration development, common labour market, single market of services, functioning of the EAEU internal market, competition and energy. A Pension Agreement for Working Population of the EAEU Member States was signed, an action plan to be implemented before launching the EAEU common electric power market was approved, and a number of other important decisions on the Eurasian integration were adopted.

Nikol Pashinyan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, who chaired the SEEC meeting, noted that some fundamental issues of strategic directions of the Eurasian integration until 2025 were discussed. According to him, the signing of the Pension Agreement for Working Population of the Eurasian Economic Union Member States is “a significant progress in creating conditions for the effective functioning of the Union common labor market”. Furthermore, the SEEC Members considered the progress of work on eliminating barriers by the EAEU Member States within the functioning of the Union’s internal market.

Nikol Pashinyan summed up the results of Armenia's chairmanship in the EAEU. “It is obvious that Armenia's presidency has been very productive in terms of expanding the Union's foreign economic relations. As it is known, the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation with China and the Agreement leading to the creation of a free trade area with Iran have come into force”, - he informed.

In October this year, the tradition of holding the Eurasian Economic Forum was established in Yerevan. Such events will continue to be held in the presiding country.

An International Treaty on the formation of the EAEU common electric power market was approved and a Concept for the formation of the EAEU common financial market was confirmed. The first digital project “Eurasian network of industrial cooperation, subcontracting and technology transfer” was launched, and progress was made to create a single jewelry market.

 Today, Armenia advances the initiative to invite each of our countries to supervise one of the major integration projects. We expressed readiness to coordinate implementing the program on the formation of the Eurasian Union’s jewelry brand”, - Nikol Pashinyan stressed.

The SEEC Members have signed the Pension Agreement for Working Population.

The Union employees will receive pensions not only for employment periods at home, but also for periods of employment in other EAEU States, after the entry into force of the document. The Commission has been working on the draft Agreement together with the Union States since 2014.

Each State will pay a pension according to its legislation. The Agreement defines some pension types it will apply to as well as types of pensions to be exported.

Until now, the pension rights of migrant workers have not been formed in all countries due to differences in the Union pension systems. Employees could not implement these rights when returning home from those countries that had such practices.

The SEEC Members have approved the action plan to be implemented before launching the common electric power market of the Eurasian Economic Union. Its launch is planned no later than January 1, 2025 with the entry into force of four rules of its operation.

In addition to adopting the rules, the action plan provides approval of a position on developing interstate power networks, forms of accession treaty, regulations of the centralized trade in electric power in the Union common electric power market and several other regulations. The plan also refers to testing the technological basis of the Union common electric power market, including the electricity trade e-system.

The formation of the common electric power market is one of the largest integration projects of the Union, guaranteeing access to mutual trade in electric power to all wholesalers and buyers of electric power from the EAEU. Electric power plants will be enabled to increase the sales market, and large consumers and power supply companies will be able to purchase electric power at the most favorable price from their EAEU partners.

Along with that, besides trade under bilateral agreements, a centralized (using exchange mechanisms) electric power trade will be created. Available platforms that now exist in Russia and Kazakhstan can be attracted for its organization.

The EAEU countries’ governments were instructed to intensify work on ensuring functioning of the single market of services.

The EAEU single market of services has been operating since January 1, 2015. Today, it operates in 53 sectors, and it is expanding through implementing liberalization plans.

The SEEC Members considered the EEC’s report on the results of monitoring the implementation of measures envisaged by liberalization plans and monitoring their implementation.

Following the report consideration, the SEEC ordered the governments of the Union and the EEC to intensify work on implementing liberalization plans based on the need to ensure the early start of the single market of services without barriers. Furthermore, the governments should take measures to implement acts of the EAEU authorities as well as provisions of the Treaty on the EAEU in terms of the single market of services.

The SEEC Members have been provided with information on the main outcomes of the EEC’s activities over the past four-year period.

The main thing is that an effective integration model of multilateral cooperation has been built, and the strength and viability of the Union have been ensured. An impressive array of supranational legislation has been created that ensures free movement of goods, services and labor in the Eurasian space. The EAEU common market of goods and services are successfully functioning. The capital market is at the stage of its formation and will include not only the sphere of banking cooperation, but also the insurance market, brokerage services, that is, the whole range of financial services. Common markets for medicines and medical devices have been established, and 48 technical regulations of the Union have been adopted. From now on, about 85% of the goods in the Union market included in the Union’s single are covered by the unified requirements for safety and quality of products.

The EAEU digital agenda is a breakthrough direction of the Union's development, introduced in recent years. The main directions of its implementation until 2025 have been approved. The economic effect will increase the EAEU GDP by about 10.6% of the total expected growth of the total GDP of the Union countries by 2025. The potential effect is almost double the possible increase in the Member States’ GDP as a result of digital development without implementing the common digital agenda.

The Customs Code of the Union - the most important integration document - has been adopted and entered into force. Its main innovations are connected with introducing modern electronic technologies into customs administration, displacing hard-copy document workflow and maximum digitalization of all processes.

The free trade area between the EAEU and Vietnam has been efficiently operating since 2016. In 2018, Trade Agreements were signed with China and Iran; in 2019 they were signed with Singapore and Serbia. In recent years, Memorandums of Interaction have been signed with Greece and the Republic of Korea, Cambodia and Ecuador, Chile and Mongolia, Peru and Jordan, Morocco and Cuba, Indonesia and a number of other countries. The Commission is developing cooperation with key relevant international structures - about 40 sectoral Memorandums of Interaction have been concluded.

The EAEU is in the process of forming common markets for electricity, gas, oil and petroleum products. In 2018-2019, it was possible to make a breakthrough in this direction: in 2018, the SEEC Members approved programs for the formation of common markets for gas, oil and petroleum products, and in 2019 an Agreement on the creation of a common electric power market was signed.

The Declaration on further development of integration processes within the EAEU was adopted. It establishes the fulfillment of integration potential for people and improvement of their well-being and quality of life.

The SEEC has made changes to the EEC Rules of Procedure, in particular to the Protocol on common principles and rules of competition.

It bears reminding that the Union countries’ leaders signed a Protocol on amending the Treaty on the EAEU at the SEEC meeting held on October 1, 2019. The Protocol provides for elaborating a procedure to give notice for violations of common rules of competition as well as procedure to release economic entities from liability in case of voluntary statements on concluding agreements, invalid in accordance with paragraphs 3-5 of Article 76 of the Treaty on the EAEU.

The Republic of Belarus is the country presiding over the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council and the Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission in 2020. The chairmanship will pass from Armenia to Belarus.

Due to the expiration of the term of office of the EEC Ministers, who are appointed every four years, the SEEC Members have approved new composition of the Commission’s Board. As before, each Union country will have two representatives in the Board. The new composition of the EEC Board will take up its duties on February 1, 2020.

The new Chairman of the EEC Board appointed by the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council for a four-year period – Mikhail Myasnikovich, representative of the Republic of Belarus, who chaired the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus, – will take office from the same date.

Tigran Sargsyan congratulated Mikhail Myasnikovich and the new Commission’s Board on the appointment and wished fruitful and successful work.

At the same time, I want to thank all the Heads of State for their joint work, it was a great honor for us to work in fulfillment of the important mission on strengthening the Union that was entrusted to us, to create more favorable environment for business and citizens of the EAEU”, - Tigran Sargsyan added. He also noted that “the signature achievements mentioned by Nikol Pashinyan show that we have really advanced on many issues, creating favorable living environment of citizens and businesses”.

Commenting on the decisions taken by the SEEC Members, the Head of the EEC Board noted that “today's decision, which was signed by the Heads of State, makes a solid step in this direction”. “In particular, the Pension Agreement for Working Population surely and clearly says that we are pursuing our goal by creating comfortable environment for citizens, as from now on the pension will devolve along with our pensioners, and not the other way around”, - Tigran Sargsyan stressed.​