Eurasian Economic Integration

Eurasian Economic Integration

Law, Policy and Politics

Edited by Rilka Dragneva and Kataryna Wolczuk

In this well-researched and detailed book, the editors provide an extensive and critical analysis of post-Soviet regional integration. After almost two decades of unfulfilled integration promises, a new – improved and functioning – regime emerged in the post-Soviet space: the Eurasian Customs Union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan (ECU).

Chapter 11: Commitment, asymmetry and flexibility: making sense of Eurasian economic integration

Rilka Dragneva and Kataryna Wolczuk

Subjects: economics and finance, regional economics, law - academic, european law, international economic law, trade law, public international law, politics and public policy, political economy, public policy


Eurasian regionalism seems ‘an idea whose time has come’, to paraphrase Katzenstein’s expression on Asia. After several failed or unfulfilled initiatives in the post-Soviet world, the Eurasian Customs Union (ECU) has emerged as a functioning project with important domestic and international implications. This volume set out to examine the ECU integration process, its institutional architecture and key driving forces behind it. The analysis has revealed a complex regional phenomenon where deep economic integration and legalized design have been pursued in response to a precarious balance of motives. While these motives vary across the ECU’s three member states – Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan – it is the political and geopolitical demands that prevail. This outcome is unambiguously connected to the nature of their political systems, which can broadly be described as non-democratic. While independently neither of these features is unique, it is their combined role which sets the Eurasian case apart from other integration projects. This chapter ‘unpacks’ the ECU’s characteristics by pointing out the key driving forces behind the countries’ commitment to Eurasian integration, the limits of that commitment and the institutional responses both part of the formal design of integration and the systemic political and socio-legal context – in structuring cooperation. The ECU has emerged and matured within a short period of time in what can be described as a ‘big bang’ development. This approach has been effective in getting the project off the ground and generating momentum; its continued rapid advance and the pronounced ambition driving it are much in evidence.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information