The Making of The Concept of The EU-Russia Common Economic Space

Evgeny Vinokurov, Chair Interbrew – Baillet Latour Working Papers No. 22


The paper starts with the analysis of the negotiation process leading to the adoption of the Concept of the Common Economic Space (CES) between the EU and Russia. Focusing on the Russian side, it delineates the phases and main activities of the negotiations. The paper comes to the conclusion that the negotiation process on Russia’s side was essentially of a top-down nature, with a dominant role of the governmental bureaucracies and little participation of the business community and the general public. The impact of the economic assessments and studies was limited, too. The paper proceeds with the analysis of the choice of a model for the CES envisaged in the Concept. It argues that the Concept of CES represents an original model in itself, combining elements of the EEA and ‘Swiss’ models; that is, it unites both horizontal and sectoral approaches. It is questionable whether the model envisaged in the Concept is capable to provide a satisfactory solution to the policy-taker challenge.

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