Viribus unitis!

Anastasia Pogorelskaya. The common labour market of the Eurasian Economic Union: when will it start functioning for the citizens?

Due to vast migrations and uneven demographic rates within the Eurasian area, labour migration around the area has become the objective necessity. Free labour migration started being considered the essential impetus for economic development of post-Soviet states after they obtained independence in 1991. Therefore, the attempts to provide free labour migration in the post-Soviet area were taken immediately after the collapse of the USSR, within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in particular.

For instance, the Agreement on the visa-free regime among the CIS states was signed. However, further framework agreements as well as the creation of specialized institutions (the Consultative Council on labour, migration and social benefits) were not agreed. Decelerating economic growth as well as the absence of large infrastructure and business projects in need of foreign labour provided no impetus for the CIS states to ensure labour migration. In addition, they did not wish to incur costs for providing labour migration in the CIS because those days most CIS countries had to spend the substantial part of their budgets on solving their domestic social and economic problems. Nevertheless, while trying to provide free labour migration the CIS countries understood that harmonization of labour migration legislation is necessary for achieving economic success. Therefore, it should be accompanied by economic integration in general, that slowed down within the CIS, though. As a result, several states that were more interested in economic integration than others agreed to create, firstly, the Eurasian Economic Community, and then – the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) that announced creating common labour market to be one of its priorities.

Nevertheless, having set the aim of providing labour migration within the new economic integration unit – the Eurasian Economic Union that is the union of five states operating since 2015 – the representatives of its member-states managed to agree on a rather limited number of issues concerning labour migration regulation. However, legal and quantitative research into the common labour market of the Eurasian Economic Union is rather large thanks to the works of I. Ivakhnyuk, Ye. Kuzmina, A. Starostin, S. Aliev, G. Osadchaya and others...

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Anastasia Pogorelskaya

- Senior Researcher, TSU Center for Eurasian Studies

- Associate Professor, Department of World Politics, TSU School of History and Politics