Eurasian Economic Union – an alternative to other regional integration models?


On September 11, 2018, the Experts for Security and Global Affairs Association (ESGA) has organized the debate Eurasian Economic Union – an alternative to other regional integration models?

The first guest speaker of the event were Sergey Utkin, Head of the Strategic Assessment Section at the Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Russian Academy of Sciences, who also headed the Foreign and Security Policy Department at the Moscow-based Centre for Strategic Research (from 2016 till June 2018) and worked at the Centre for Situation Analysis, Russian Academy of Sciences, now merged with IMEMO (2012 – 2016). In 2006 – 2013 he worked at IMEMO, where his last position was Head of Section for Political Aspects of European Integration. Mr. Sergey Utkin holds a Ph.D. in Political Science (International Relations), which he received at IMEMO in 2006 for his thesis on Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU. In 2002 he graduated from the Moscow Pedagogical State University, School of History. His research is focused on foreign and security policy of the EU, the EU’s relations with Russia and the US, Russia’s foreign policy in the Euro-Atlantic area.

The second guest speaker was Anthony Mary van der Togt, Senior Research Fellow at the Clingendael Institute in The Hague. Before his secondment to Clingendael, he held different positions in the Dutch Foreign Ministry, dealing with Eastern Europe and Central Asia. More recently, he served as Dutch Consul-General in St Petersburg (2008-2011) and as Special Representative for the Netherlands-Russia bilateral year in 2013. He published a wide range of articles, including on the EU, Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union, Greater Eurasia, the EU’s Eastern Partnership, NATO-Russia relations, and Dutch-Russian bilateral relations. Furthermore, he was (co-)author of the Clingendael Reports: “From Competition to Compatibility. Striking a Eurasian balance in EU-Russia relations”, “The Europeanisation of Moldova: Is the EU on the right track?” and “The “Belarus factor”. From balancing to bridging geopolitical dividing lines in Europe?” He also wrote a chapter on negotiating protracted conflicts in post-soviet Eurasia: the case of Moldova/Transnistria in “Tug of War. Negotiating Security in Eurasia” (co-edited by Fen Osler Hampson and Mikhail Troitskiy). Most recently, he contributed a paper on the hybrid conflict in Dutch-Russian relations in the Clingendael Report: “Hybrid conflict: the roles of Russia, North Korea, and China.” For the full list see the expert page at Furthermore, he served as a member of the core group of the EU-Russia Experts Network (EUREN), participating in dialogue with Russian experts from the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) on topics of common interest and is a regular contributor to the Minsk Dialogue.

The debate was moderated by Dr. Angela Grămadă, president of the Experts for Security and Global Affairs Association (ESGA), co-founder ESGA Moldova.


Source: ESGA


Source: ESGA



The discussions focused on the regional integration models and their impact on the national economies of the post-soviet states that decided to join the initiative. The aim of the debate was to provide for the Romanian audience a comprehensive picture about the concept of the ”Eurasian Economic Union” and processes that member states are witnessing, the challenges and outcomes of the three-year integration process since the launch of this organization în 2015, what are the main tools and mechanisms for achieving results.

Over 30 participants, experts, officials, and academia representatives had the opportunity to actively be involved in the debate using the OSM (Open Space Method).





This debate is the third one within the present project and it is part of the series of the follow-up events continuing the project implemented in 2017 by ESGA Understanding the Eastern Neighborhood. A unique platform for comprehensive debates and analysis on Russian affairs”. Within this projects, ESGA aims to engage the young generation of experts proactively in the efforts oriented on setting a new agenda for the dialogue with Russia and to encourage the participation in public debates.

The debate was also attended by different media representatives and the conclusions of the event were presented in these media sources.

Detailed information about ESGA projects is available on the website and Facebook page

The Experts for Security and Global Affairs Association (ESGA) is a Romanian think tank designed as an online platform that will bring together researchers, experts, analysts, journalists, civil society representatives both from Romania and from abroad, specialized in the study of political, socio-economic and security the of the ex-soviet space, Euro-Atlantic area and the Middle East. ESGA is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization and think-tank.

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