«We need to look into the past in order to understand the present and foresee the future»
N.A.Nazarbayev

The new reading of the Eurasian idea in the 21st century

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The new reading of the Eurasian idea in the 21st century
The passage from the article of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev “Eurasian Union: from the idea to the history of the future”, published in October 25, 2011 in the newspaper “Izvestia”

In 2011 in the newpaper «Izvestia» was published the article of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, who set the tone for the debate about the integration of the former Soviet Union.

My idea about the creation of Eurasian Union never had and there is no passive attitude and political nostalgia that covers future.

The idea was and will be based on the pragmatic attitude. It denies all forms of violence over the politics and economics, despite how well-intended there are.
It is poor judgment, to see only collectively isolaiton from external economic, military, political, informational, technological, environmental and other threats in Eurasian project.

In such narrowed perception of historical perspectives of EEU there is a great temptation to cut out the new similarity of the «Iron Curtain», but from the other geopolitical patterns. This is absolutely unacceptable.

We consider the Eurasian Union as an open project. It cannot be represented without extensive collaboration, for example, with the European Union and other unions.

There is no «restoration» or «reincarnation», the USSR will never be back again. It is just an illusion of the past and speculations. Russia, Belarus and other countries share our view on this.

Today we need overcome the fears of the word «union» and notorious «emergence of the empire». It is important that v. Putin wrote about it in his article in «Izvestia». The Atlantic Integration under NAFTA also consists of three countries U.S., Canada and Mexico. However, nobody talks about U.S. imperial ambitions.

Some Western experts hastened to declare that the Eurasian Union is intended to be protected by so-called Chinese economic expansion. There is nothing far from the truth than this statement.

In contrast, China over the past two decades is the strategic partner of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. We support an intensive political dialogue and closer economic cooperation. As well as we closely collaborate within Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA).

At the same time it is important to add to the principles of Eurasian integration, which I told 17 year ago, the situation on the responsibility of each country that participate for the stability of the internal development, the effectiveness of national economic, financial and social policies.

Is especially important considering the experience of current attempt to overcome the difficulties in economy of the European Union, an example of which is very helpful for us.

Since 2009 we have been doing detailed development of all legal issues of the formation of Common Economic Space (CES) of Kazakhstan, Belarus and Russia. By the end of this year at the governmental level will be signed appropriate agreements.

From January 1, 2012, has started creation of practical phase of the Common Economic Space.

Consistently it became real the mechanisms of coordination of economic policies of three countries and provision of cross-border free movement of services, capitals, labor resources and unified laws. The national business entities will have an equal access to the infrastructure in each country that participates in the CES. The common transport, energy and information systems will be developed in the future.

Common Economic Space will provide a solid foundation for the transition to a higher level of integration — the Eurasian Economic Union.

It will be strong organization. Accumulated GDP of three countries will be almost $ 2 trillion, estimated industrial potential will be $ 600 billion and the volume of agricultural production will be about $ 112 billion. The total consumer market will be more than165 millions of people.

In 21st century it is impossible to image that Eurasian Union implemented as a successful center of global power out of the clear observed trends in global development.

In this century, the regionalization becomes a worldwide trend. In the coming years the European Union plans its future expansion thought the entering to it Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and other countries.

In the Eastern Asia was created the biggest planet in the free trade zone with China and countries of ASEAN with two billion consumers. The Gulf region self-organized in financial and economic terms. The integration of Africa, North and South America is getting stronger.

In 20 years of sovereign development of economy of Russia, Kazakhstan and other participants of Eurasian integration became the part of the global economy.

Today, the important condition for the modernization of our countries and creation of high-tech innovative economies is active increase of investment and technological cooperation with United States, European Union, China and Asia-Pacific Economic Community.

The important aspects of process of designing a new global security system should be taken into account. Adopted almost a year ago by my insistence initiative of Astana Declaration of the OSCE summit for the first time was designated the goal to create a common and indivisible Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian space security.

So, today, it is very actual the new reading of the idea of Eurasian integration that aimed to faraway future of 21st century and maybe subsequent centuries!

Eurasian Union:
Future Strategy

Eurasian Union it is huge project, comparable with the complex challenges of the present and future.

It has all chances to become an integral part of a new global architecture. Its formation was influenced by the most powerful in the history of the global financial and economic crisis.

For this reason, all participants of the Eurasian integration should have clear strategy.

Firstly, the Eurasian Union initially should have been created as a competitive global economic union.

We should not be satisfied with the narrowed perspective of being among the countries that develops only with the principle «catching up modernization» or always remain as big peripheral exporter of natural exporter to the rest of the world.

The world stands on the threshold of a new of technological revolution. Today Kazakhstan is heading towards accelerated industrial and innovative development.

We create a new structure of modern productive forces as the basis for future national and innovative economy. Similar challenges have Russia and other CIS countries.

Therefore it is important that our Common Economic Space will be the territory for innovative and powerful technological breakthrough.

For this reason it is important to build a common algorithm of modernization and innovative development of our countries.

I suggest as far as it possible to develop and adopt a joint program of the Eurasian innovation and technological cooperation estimated for 10–15 years.
The good example to follow in this case showed France, Germany and the UK, which created the largest international aviation consortium AIRBUS. Later, Spain joined to them.

In 2010, AIRBUS significantly was ahead of American companies «Boeing» and «Lockheed» by number of deliveries and orders of new aircrafts.

The annual revenue of AIRBUS is approaching to € 30 billion. On company’s enterprises located throughout Europe work 53 thousand employees.

Since 2006 the whole block of share of AIRBUS belonged to the European Aerospace consortium EADS, which in its case financed by the government and national companies of European Union countries.

Denmark and Sweden have created a joint innovation center «Medicon Valley» in Skane.

Today it is one of the most powerful in Europe cluster, which accumulated laboratories, commercial structures and industrial enterprises.

There are 7 scientific parks, which include 300 different companies, 14 universities and 26 medical clinics.

In the same way there are number of countries that agreed the creation of international and innovative centers, which signed bilateral agreement on certain aspects of the joint development of new technologies.

Secondly, the Eurasian Union should be formed as solid unit that brings together Euro-Atlantic areas of development.

In the economic aspect we plan to be the bridge that links dynamic economies of European Union, Eastern, South-Eastern and South Asian.

Today, the project of international transit corridor «Western Europe-Western China» is on realization.

Today, a project of international road transport corridor «Western Europe — Western China».

Later, along this route will line up modern transport and logistics system, which will reduce delivery times of goods to the European and Chinese markets more than 3.5 times. Certainly seems promising future establishment of the Trans-Eurasia.

The expansion of the cooperation between Common Economic Space with the European Union, China, Japan and India is mutually beneficial for us.

The sequential transformation of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space later in the Eurasian Economic Union will be a powerful incentive for the prosperity of our people. It will bring out country in a leading position in the global world. The Custom Union of Kazakhstan, Belarus and Russia grew from the Eurasian Economic Community. Created in 2000 this Union in the format of five countries Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan became a critical point in the practice of Eurasian integration.

Thirdly, the Eurasian Union should be formed as self-sufficient regional financial institution, which will be part of a new global financial system.

According to the European Union experience, the creation of a common payment system and then the single currency is a natural stage of integration.
In modern conditions, this process should also take into account trends, emerging due to the global crisis.

Despite the criticism of the EU and the euro area today, they show their own vitality and a strong resistance to crises. We see what the EU has a strong support to those countries that are in a difficult position.

Three years ago, I suggested working on the question of the establishment of the Eurasian supranational unit of account-ESUA as a fundamental principle for the strong regional reserve currency.

Today, taking into account the likelihood of a new wave of the global recession with more serious consequences, this idea is not just relevant, it requires practical solutions.

I would like to emphasize that the creation of a monetary union within the EEA is the Rubicon, breaking of which, we came very close to a new level of integration, which is close to the current state of the European Union.

Our main task is practically convincing our neighbors in importance and vitality of our Union. So we can increase the number of the states more than three.

Fourth, Geo-economic and geopolitical perspective and maturing of the Eurasian integration should go exclusively by evolutionary and voluntary way.

Any form of artificial acceleration and whipping to it other countries is unacceptable. We should not forget that the European Single Market was created almost within 40 years.

Today the platform of Eurasian integration is wide enough.

It includes interstate associations like the CIS, EurAsEC, CSTO, Customs Union — CES of Kazakhstan, Belarus, Russia and others that different in shape, goals and objectives. There is a possibility of the emergence of other structures.

For example, I remain a supporter of the creation of the Central Asian Union. Primarily, I see it as tremendous opportunity for joint solution of the problem and make equal socio-economic development of all countries in the region. This would contribute to the welfare of all citizens of the Central Asian countries and would help to solve complex problems in the region.

Participation in various regional organizations helps each State to choose the best way to integrate.

Therefore, it is important to increase the potential of all Eurasian associations. It gradually will promote the convergence of their formats and content.

Fifth, creation Eurasian Union is possible only on the basis of broad public support.

It is quite natural that now in our countries there is own «Eurasian-optimists» and «Eurasian-sceptics». The controversy between them only helps to see and consistently addressed the costs of the integration process.

I think that in the near future their debates will be conducted from the tribune of the Eurasian Assembly, the supranational structure that unites parliamentarians of our countries.

However, it is important to strengthen the national vertical of Eurasian integration. It is about expansion of the number of Eurasian associations.

For example, based on the Business Council of EurAsEC can create Eurasian Congress of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.

It is advisable to create the Eurasian Chamber of Commerce in the format of the three countries. Their offices could be located in Astana.

It is necessary to begin the construction of the 24 hours a day news channel «Eurasia-24». This is important for the provision of objective and comprehensive information about the benefits and progress of integration to our citizens.

I suggest transferring the executive bodies of the Eurasian Economic Community to Astana, geographical location of which in Eurasian sub-continent. There are no ambitions. This would be a serious burden for us. At the same time it also would be a fair tribute of gratitude to Kazakhstan as the initiator of the idea of Eurasian integration. Location of the central office in Kazakhstan will save new integration associations from suspicious that exist both within and outside of our organizations. This will cause a lot of trust in our organization, which makes the first it’s first steps.

At that time, it was the reason to locate the headquarters of the CIS in Minsk. It is not a coincidence that the headquarters of the European Union locates in Brussels.

At the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century, the idea of Eurasian integration acquires real feature of the Single Economic Space.

It has proven its historical prospects as certain path to prosperity and well-being of our countries and peoples.

The key political decisions were adopted.

To create economically strong, stable and profitable Eurasian Union that profitable to everyone we should solve many challenging tasks.

This is our overall strategic goal!



Materials provided by International scientific-popular magazine «Eurasis»