Form of government
What is the basic source of law? Describe the scope of, and limitations on, government power relevant to the regulation of lobbying and government relations.
The main source of Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) law is the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union (the Treaty). Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan signed the Treaty on 29 May 2014, and it came into force on 1 January 2015. Armenia and Kyrgyzstan acceded to the Treaty on 2 January 2015 and 12 August 2015 respectively. Thus, currently, the EAEU consists of five countries: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.
The Treaty codified provisions of the pre-existing agreements regulating the functioning of the Customs Union and common economic space. These agreements constituted the basis of the Treaty, which aims to ensure their implementation and bring their provisions in line with the rules and norms of the World Trade Organization.
Implementation of the Treaty and the provisions included therein is scheduled for a 10-year period. It should lead to transformation of the EAEU by 2025 into a full-rate economic alliance (this implies free circulation of goods, services, capital and labour force, and formation of a common market in the energy, finance and transport sectors, etc). Further deepening and expansion of integration will depend on whether the EAEU member states achieve all the targets set by the Treaty by 2025.
The Treaty defines the major objectives of the EAEU, its competence, its institutional structure and the procedure of formation and operation of the EAEU bodies. In addition, the Treaty regulates the mechanisms of economic integration of the EAEU member states and the obligation to carry out a unified, conciliatory or coordinated policy in certain economic sectors.
Unlike the European Union, the EAEU does not regulate the fundamental rights and freedoms relevant for lobbying (freedom of speech, assembly, etc). However, the Treaty defines the basic principles of the EAEU that influence the decision-making process, such as respect for fundamental principles of international law, sovereign equality and specifics of the political systems of the member states, and ensures equality and consideration of national interests. In accordance with these principles, the EAEU bodies (the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council and the Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission) make their decisions on the basis of a consensus to prevent dominance of any EAEU member state (see question 2). However, there are occasional conflicts among the EAEU bodies as a result of divergence of interests of the member states in various spheres.
In addition, an important principle of the EAEU is the transparency of its activities. Information on the activities of the EAEU bodies is available on the official website: http://eaeunion.org. International treaties within the EAEU and with third parties must be published on the website. In addition, draft decisions are subject to preliminary publication (at least 30 days prior to the planned adoption date). Adopted decisions enter into force following their official publication.
2 Legislative system
Describe the legislative system as it relates to lobbying.
Currently, the EAEU involves economic integration only.
The project of Eurasian integration was originally based on the idea of creating a single economic space. The question of political integration within the EAEU, including creation of a Eurasian parliament, was discussed during preparation for the launch of the Eurasian integration project. During this period, the Russian political establishment sought to maximise the number of Union participants (the inclusion of Ukraine in the integration process was one of the priorities). Political integration was considered to be a way of strengthening Eurasian integration.
However, at the final stage of negotiations on the Treaty, the parties did not consider the opportunity to expand integration to the political sphere or create supranational political bodies for the following reasons. First, Russia’s interest in political integration declined after Ukraine signed the association agreement with the European Union. Secondly, Kazakhstan and Belarus were against political integration and the creation of a Eurasian parliament. Thus, the final version of the Treaty does not include any provisions that provide for the expansion of integration to the political sphere or the creation of a supranational political body (a parliament or an inter-parliamentary assembly).
Regarding the decision-making process within the EAEU, decisions can be adopted by the following bodies: the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council and the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC). The composition and powers of these bodies are outlined below.
At the same time, the process of forming EAEU supranational bodies is ongoing. The Treaty provides for the establishment of a single market regulator by 2025. In addition, the EAEU member states may establish other supranational institutions, such as commissions on the economy, environment and raw materials. The establishment of these bodies was discussed during negotiations on the Treaty, but was not enshrined in the Treaty.