What is the 'Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU)'

The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) is an international economic union the comprises countries located in northern Eurasia. The founding member states, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia established the union by treaty and entered into force on January 1, 2015.

BREAKING DOWN 'Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU)'

The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) was created in part in response to the economic and political influence of the European Union and other Western countries. As of May 2018 member states included Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.

Key objectives of the EAEU include increasing cooperation and economic competitiveness for the member states, and the promotion of stable development in order to raise the standard of living in member states.

The EAEU ensures the free movement of goods, services, labor and capital between the states, and provides for common policies in macroeconomic sphere, transport, industry and agriculture, energy, foreign trade and investment, customs, technical regulation, competition and antitrust regulation. Unlike the treaty forming the Eurozone, the treaty forming the EAEU has not to date established a single currency.

The EAEU heads of state comprise a governing body known as The Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, and the executive body which oversees day-to-day operations is known as the Eurasian Economic Commission, an analog to the European Commission. The Court of the EAEU serves as the judicial body.

History and Formation of the EAEU

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, many Eurasian republics began to experience economic decline, prompting dialog between states in the region regarding economic cooperation.

In March 1994, Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev first suggested the idea of establishing a trade alliance during a speech at Moscow State University.

By June 1994, a detailed plan for a Eurasian Union was drafted and submitted to heads of state. Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia signed The Treaty on the Customs Union in 1995, laying the groundwork for free economic cooperation between the states. Subsequently, over the next decades a series of additional treaties strengthened economic relations between Eurasian states, many of which had formerly been members of the Soviet Union.

In December 2010, The Declaration on Establishment of the Single Economic Space of the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation was signed, establishing the foundation for the EAEU. This treaty, which entered into force in 2012, ensured the free movement of goods, services, labor and capital between the states.

On May 29, 2014, the EAEU was formally established when founding member states Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia signed the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union and this treaty was entered into force on January 1, 2015.  

Armenia and Kyrgyzstan signed EAEU accession agreements in October 2014 and December 2014, respectively. On January 2, 2015, The Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union entered into force for Armenia, and on August 6, 2015, it entered into force for Kyrgyzstan.

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