European Union: Second Generation Trade Agreements

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-7-26-33
V. Zagashvili (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

Abstract. The second generation agreements became an important step in strengthening the external vector of European integration policy, in extending the European integration experience to relations with third countries, in strengthening the EU’s position in the world market and increasing its role in shaping the global governance system. The EU has already established or is in the process of establishing close integration ties with key players in the Asia-Pacific region. A similar picture is taking shape in the Western Hemisphere. Attempts are continued to reach mutual understanding with the United States. There is no doubt that they will ultimately succeed: deepening integration ties between the leaders of the developed world meets the needs of transnational business and is dictated by the need to use the integration factor to strengthen competitiveness in the face of the growing power of Asian states. The contents and goals of the second generation agreements are fully consistent with those of the mega-regional trade agreements (MRTA). The EU agreements are distinguished from other MRTAs by increased attention to ensuring human rights and achieving sustainable development goals. Bilateral agreements make it easier to protect European values compared to the multilateral format. The EU activities to conclude new MRTAs have an impact on the position of companies from other countries through various channels. This impact is not limited to the trade diversion effect and is not always negative. Unification of requirements opens up new opportunities for third countries. Ultimately, the convergence of regulatory norms, eliminating the obstacles to the movement of goods, services and investments reduces costs and thus has a beneficial overall effect on global economic growth. The EU participation in international integration provides a wealth of material for gaining experience that can be used by Russia and Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). In part, this experience is already being applied in preparing the EAEU trade agreements with third countries. The participation of Russia and the EAEU in mega-regional projects seems desirable, but it is necessary to carefully consider the choice of participants, the format and content of the agreements. The prospect of establishing integration relations between the two unions will be realized in a more distant future.

Keywords: European Union, mega-regional trade agreements, second generation trade agreements, free trade area, non-tariff barriers, standardization, unification, harmonization of regulation, Russia, Eurasian Economic Union


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For citation:
Zagashvili V. European Union: Second Generation Trade Agreements. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2020, vol. 64, no. 7, pp. 26-33.

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