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EEMA-EU: young European economists and political analysts call for cooperation

EEMA-EU: young European economists and political analysts call for cooperation


The idea of the need for the early establishment of formal partnerships between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the European Union (EU) was in the spotlight of the 5th International Youth Forum “Greater Europe Meetings: Paris 2017” held in Paris on July 24-25 on the initiative of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and The Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund with the assistance of several large French companies.

The Forum was attended by students and teachers from leading universities of France and other EU countries, young European economists and political analysts, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to France, Alexander Orlov, the Permanent Delegate of the Russian Federation to UNESCO, Alexander Kuznetsov.

Tatyana Valovaya, the Member of the Board – Minister in charge of Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) spoke at the Forum Opening Ceremony. She shared the ideas about rethinking the Greater Europe project in the context of the changes that have occurred in the past five years, spoke on the topic how the establishment of the EAEU influenced the Greater Europe prospect.

The EEC Minister noted that the EAEU and the EU currently acted as two most successful examples of full-fledged economic alliances in the world, the need for cooperation between them was obvious, mutually beneficial and based on the centuries-old history of closer movement of the peoples and the economies of Eurasia and Europe to each other. Tatyana Valovya noted that restrictive measures and exchange of sanctions had not given a positive effect for any of the parties, but redirected the flows of trade only. Thus, at the end of 2016, imports of the EAEU Member States from Asia (APEC countries) exceeded imports from the EU for the first time. This year, this trend holds, and the gap could become even more essential.

“Time zips along. While the Greater Europe project was under discussion, the logic of economic development and international cooperation put us on to the idea of establishing a continental Eurasian partnership, a wider integration pattern with participation of national economies and regional associations not only from the EAEU and the EU, but also from Asia and Latin America, i.e. anyone who is interested in establishing new cooperation chains of trade and economic cooperation,” Tatyana Valovaya said.

Speaking at the Forum Opening Ceremony, the High Level Expert, the former Secretary General of the French Presidency in the EU Council, the former French Ambassador to Russia, Claude Blanchemaison, expressed himself in favour of the speedy establishment of formal ties between European and Eurasian economic commissions in all general areas of activity. He noted that the lack of official contacts and systematic dialogue resulted in the loss of opportunities and time for the both parties.

The Assistant Minister in charge of Integration and Macroeconomics of the EEC, Fedor Chernitsyn, delivered a lecture on historical, legal and economic aspects of cooperation between the EAEU and the EU. Talking about the aims and objectives of the Eurasian Economic Union, its current state and development plans, the EEC international activities, Fedor Chernitsyn drew direct parallels between the European Union and the European Commission. “When you have information about the state of affairs, you clearly see that avoiding the interaction is illogical, unconstructive and outdated. We are ready for joint planning of the future and expect this from our partners,” Chernitsyn stated. After the lecture, the EEC Assistant Minister answered numerous questions of the audience on possible ways and channels for establishing and maintaining the European-Eurasian dialogue.

Discussion of the Eurasian topic at the International Forum in the French capital, under the auspices of UNESCO, was another indication of the emerging request of expert, scientific and business communities of Europe for institutionalizing relations and developing cooperation in the EAEU-EU format.