Contribution to the series "The World HandCOV'd"

The Eurasian Economic Union has marked its sixth anniversary at quite a difficult time. It is currently the most dynamic integration project in the post-Soviet space and its economic essence corresponds to the liberal–market paradigm. The fundamental documents of the EAEU are altogether in line with contemporary globalization and integration trends and include international best practices of integration associations, as well as the experience of previous attempts of post-Soviet integration.

Key takeaways

• The COVID-19 pandemic, in combination with its aftermath, has identified new challenges for the EAEU that the bloc appears to be institutionally and functionally unprepared to address.

• Mechanisms to curb the pandemic have been developed and implemented at the level of nation states with the minimal involvement of the EAEU institutions.

• Throughout the pandemic, the incompleteness of the single economic space and inefficiency of its institutions proved to be quite painful for the EAEU.

• The plunge in oil prices, curtailment of consumption, market contraction, unbalanced development of industries, increasing need for enhanced resources to ensure healthcare and economic security, and complex political processes in the member states have all threatened the sustainability of the EAEU.

• In the post-COVID-19 period, the EAEU will maintain its chief development priorities that have emerged in recent years; at the same time, the pandemic and its implications have given rise to both challenges and opportunities for technological breakthroughs.

• The alignment between the EAEU and other post-Soviet integration projects needs to be revisited. Specifically, an important task for the bloc and its member states is to maintain the necessary “balance” between integration groups.

• A main task on the external contour is for the EAEU to be better prepared for tougher competition between individual states and economic associations.

You can download the entire report as a pdf.