The Law and Policy of New Eurasian Regionalization. Economic Integration, Trade, and Investment in the Post-Soviet and Greater Eurasian Space
The Law and Policy of New Eurasian Regionalization: Economic Integration, Trade, and Investment in the Post-Soviet and Greater Eurasian Space makes several unique contributions to the literature. First and foremost, most of the current literature is in either economics or politics, with only a secondary focus on legal and institutional matters. Secondly, and consequently, the book is accessible and relevant to readers both ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ the boundaries of the Eurasian area: not only geographical boundaries, but also legal, geopolitical, geoeconomic, cultural, and, indeed, disciplinary boundaries. Drawing on international, transnational, and comparative legal scholarship, this rich volume offers the insights by a plethora of leading international scholars in economics, institutional theory, area studies, international relations, global political economy, political science, and sociology. The contributors come from four corners of the globe, including Asia, Europe, and North America.
Our book has offered a cutting-edge account of the various multilevel institutional, geoeconomic, and socio-legal spaces yielding today’s regionalization in Eurasia. It appears that Eurasian regionalization is a complex idea and real-life process shaping trade, investment, transport routes, sustainability, and, indeed, lives of roughly half of the Northern hemisphere and beyond. The pace of these developments will likely determine the scope of the future scholarship as the nascent regulatory framework of the Eurasian integration covered in our book will be gradually bolstered and tested in practice.
Extractivism as the vertebrae of the current global political economy is a concept embracing non-unlimited in scale and scope activities that remove large volumes of resources of any kind, mainly for export. Those resources, both social and natural, are typically situated in the so-called majority world—countries previously identified as ‘developing’—to cover the demand in the ‘minority’ world. In this chapter, we analyze deforestation and connected problems such as unsustainable logging and illegal timber trade issues and corresponding national development policies, laws and regulation with the help of case studies of Brazil, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia. Our analysis shows that, while all the three countries have made some steps to bring their development plans into conformity with climate change fight and realities, many of their measures are either piecemeal or going in the opposite directions, or both. In Brazil, it is local deforestation that causes climate change, both in the country and globally, because of the crucial importance of Amazon rainforest as the Earth’s biggest ‘lungs’. Contrariwise, in Kyrgyzstan it is global climate change that causes irreversible local deforestation problems. As to Russia, due to its size and its considerable forestry area, the country’s contribution to the global biodiversity and clean air is comparable to that of Brazil. However, both legislative mismatch and—especially—flawed real-life practices of combating unsustainable logging and illegal timber trade are also comparable between Brazil and Russia. Therefore, an analytical grid that we apply to relevant Russian regulatory framework, including the conservation and protection of biodiversity, to logging practices and timber exports revealing the actual illegality of timber ‘legally’ imported to the minority world, is also applicable to similar issues in other global timber exporting countries, including Brazil.
It is often argued that EU’s economic integration efforts in Eastern Europe through the so-called Europeanization (European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP)) are more advantageous to the EU than partnerships properly so called (EU’s Eastern Partnership (EaP) collaborations). But what about the receiving end of such Europeanization? This chapter looks at the impact of a selected Europeanization effort—the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) between the EU and Moldova on the development of the latter. There is a clear link between the Europeanization framework, within which the policy of extending EU legislation to the post-Soviet states is actively promoted, and the Association Agreement with Moldova. Our analysis of the implementation of Moldova’s economic integration into the EU market highlights not only positive but also several negative trends of this process. In the shorter term, Moldova’s economic, political and social benefits from the DCFTA are far from sustainable, as they are primarily associated with drastic legislative changes, as well as an increase in the export of raw materials and low-tech goods. In the long term, however, the DCFTA provisions bear the potential for the sustainable development of Moldova. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of their implementation depends primarily on solving systemic problems in the country. Against this background, we then offer an analysis of recent transnational disputes over one of the most crucial elements of Moldova’s sustainable development—electricity. In particular, the so far latest ruling in the Energoalians 20 year-long row is essential both for the resolution of future transnational energy disputes under the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) and for a better understanding of the EU’s attitude towards Moldova and its further European integration.
The three forces that shape the global political economy today are globalization, regionalization, and nationalism. These three forces cannot be assessed in isolation, independently from one another, nor from a perspective of either law or policy alone. Since the dismantlement of the Soviet Union (USSR), the post-Soviet area became a disputed space where newly created sovereign states, global corporations, foreign interests, old capital and newly-landed oligarchy aligned together either to allow or to resist regional (re)integration. Recent decades have shown advantages and downsides of international trade, a market economy, the developmental rule of law, state ownership of energy companies and general monopoly of the state, and what do those mean for each country in the region. One feature, however, remains intact—undeniable economic and geographical closeness typical for any neighbourliness. The geopolitics and in particular the geoeconomics of the region, existing chains of production and regulatory diversity along with freed market forces have driven most states of the region to look for plural forms of cooperation and exchange while setting apart for a long time (whither forever?) some neighbours.