Past Event

Trade relations between the EU and its Eastern neighbours

One trigger of the current crisis in Ukraine was the Russian concern over the Association Agreements that Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Armenia were supposed to sign or initial in Vilnius. Based on Russian carrots and pressure Ukraine’s former president Yanukovich eventually refused to sign the agreement with the EU, whose main economic component was a […]

Date: May 13 - Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

One trigger of the current crisis in Ukraine was the Russian concern over the Association Agreements that Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Armenia were supposed to sign or initial in Vilnius. Based on Russian carrots and pressure Ukraine’s former president Yanukovich eventually refused to sign the agreement with the EU, whose main economic component was a ‘deep and comprehensive free trade agreement’(DCFTA) between the EU and Ukraine.

One reading of Russian concerns over the Association Agreement is that the DCFTA that has been negotiated since 2007 is incompatible with the Eurasian Customs Union – a Russian led initiative that has been announced in 2009 and established in 2010, and now encompasses Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia. So the conflict over trade arrangements in the region is at the origin of the conflict that escalated in Ukraine.

Consequently, finding a proper combination of trade-arrangements between the three groups of countries – the European Union, the Eurasian Customs Union and the East European countries that are not part of neither trading bloc – is essential for a mutually acceptable solution.

In this event André Sapir (Bruegel) will chair a panel discussion on the economic and political aspects of the different combinations of trade arrangements on each of the regions. Natalya Volchkova (New Economic School, Moscow) will present the effects on the Customs Union. Ricardo Giucci (German Economic Team Moldova and Belarus; German Advisory Group in Ukraine) will discuss the effects on the Eastern countries. Finally, Roderick Abbott (ECIPE) will present the effects on the EU. Marc Vanheukelen (European Commission) will comment on the presentations before the floor is opened for discussion.

Speakers

  • Natalya Volchkova, Assistant Professor and CEFIR Policy Director, New Economic School, Moscow
  • Ricardo Giucci, German Economic Team Moldova and Belarus; German Advisory Group in Ukraine
  • Roderick Abbott, ECIPE
  • Discussant: Marc Vanheukelen, Head of Cabinet of the European Commissioner for Trade
  • Chair: André Sapir, Senior Fellow, Bruegel

Practical details

  • Venue: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
  • Time: Tuesday 13 May 2014, 12.45-14.45 (Lunch will be served at 12.45 after which the event begins at 13.15)
  • Contact: Matilda Sevón, Events Manager – matilda.sevon[at]bruegel.org
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