1 What is the basic source of law? Describe the scope of, and limitations on, government power relevant to the regulation of lobbying and government relations.
The main source of law in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) – a regional economic integration union comprising Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia – is the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union (the Treaty).
The Treaty and establishment of the EAEU to deepen Eurasian integration after creation of the Customs Union (in effect since 2010) and Common Economic Space (formed in 2012) was negotiated by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan from around 2011. However, negotiations were dragged out for political reasons.
Specifically, Russia sought to maximise the number of the Union’s participants (inclusion of Ukraine in the Union was one of the priorities) and deepen integration through its expansion to the political sphere. However Belarus and Kazakhstan, opposing any idea of political integration, blocked discussions on the issue, which hindered conclusion of the Treaty.
The situation changed with Ukraine’s signing of the association agreement with the EU that made the country’s inclusion in the EAEU impossible and led to a decline in Russia’s interest in political integration. The final version of the EAEU Treaty that was signed by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan on 29 May 2014 and came into effect on 1 January 2015 (Armenia and Kyrgyzstan joined the Treaty later) did not include any provisions stipulating political integration.
The Treaty is focused on economic integration with the ultimate goal of transforming the EAEU by 2025 into a fully fledged economic union, which implies, for example, freedom of circulation of goods, services, capital and labour market and a common market in the energy, finance and transport sectors. Further deepening and expansion of integration will depend on whether the EAEU member states achieve all the targets set by the Treaty by 2025.
As for the scope of the Treaty, it defines the major objectives of the EAEU, its competence, institutional structure and the procedure of formation and operation of the EAEU bodies. In addition, the Treaty regulates the mechanisms of economic integration of the EAEU member states and the obligation to carry out a unified, conciliatory or coordinated policy in certain economic sectors.
Unlike the European Union, the EAEU does not regulate the fundamental rights and freedoms relevant for lobbying (freedom of speech, assembly, etc). However, the Treaty defines the basic principles of the EAEU that influence the decision making process, such as respect for fundamental principles of international law, sovereign equality and specifics of the political systems of the member states, and ensures equality and consideration of national interests.
In accordance with these principles, the EAEU member states are equally represented in the EAEU bodies – the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council and the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC). In addition, decisions in all EAEU bodies (except for the EEC Board) are made on the basis of a consensus to prevent dominance of any EAEU member state.
Nevertheless, despite equal representation of the member states in the EAEU bodies and consensus-based decision-making, some EAEU member states have, in fact, more influential and dominant positions due to significant differences in the market size.
Russia is the largest economy in the EAEU, with GDP (hereinafter GDP is given in current prices, US dollars according to the World Bank data of 2018) amounting to $1.6 trillion. The GDP of Kazakhstan and Belarus constitutes approximately $170.5 billion and $59.7 billion respectively, followed by Armenia and Kyrgyzstan with GDP making up $12.4 billion and $8 billion. The disproportions in the EAEU economies can also be exemplified by the distribution of import duties among the EAEU member states: Russia as the largest economy gets 85 per cent of the amount of import duties, Kazakhstan 6.9 per cent, Belarus 4.8 per cent, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan less than 2 per cent.
Overall, as the largest economies and founding states, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan can be considered the most influential players in the EAEU, with Russia still being the key driver in some cases.
2 Describe the legislative system as it relates to lobbying.
The decision-making institutions in the EAEU are as follows: the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council and the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC). The EAEU has no supranational parliament, although at the initial stages of negotiations there were proposals on the establishment of a parliament or an inter-parliamentary assembly that were mainly driven by Russia.
It is also noteworthy that the process of forming EAEU supranational bodies is ongoing. Specifically, the Treaty provides for the establishment of a single market regulator by 2025. In addition, the EAEU member states may establish other supranational institutions, such as commissions on the economy, environment and raw materials. The establishment of these bodies was discussed during negotiations on the Treaty, but was not enshrined in the Treaty.
The composition and powers of the existing EAEU bodies are outlined below.
The Supreme Eurasian Economic Council
The Supreme Council consists of the heads of the EAEU member states (presidents, except for the Armenian prime minister). The position of the chairman of the Supreme Council is occupied, in turn, by the heads of the member states, who replace each other once a year.
The Supreme Council holds its meetings at least once a year to discuss and decide on broad EAEU development and integration issues, major policy directions and other strategic questions. It also considers the issues relating to changes to or cancellation of the decisions of the Intergovernmental Council or the EEC if those bodies are unable to reach a consensus.
The Intergovernmental Council
The lower level in the EAEU authorities’ hierarchy is occupied by the Intergovernmental Council, comprised of the heads of the governments of the EAEU member states. The chairman of the Intergovernmental Council is determined on a rotational basis once a year.
Meetings of the Intergovernmental Council must be held at least twice a year, however, in practice, they can be postponed if conflicts arise between the EAEU member states.
The Council has the power to prepare the issues for approval by the Supreme Council and has control over the EEC’s activities. With regard to monitoring the EEC’s activities, the Council gives instructions to the EEC and may cancel, change or suspend its decisions.
The EEC is the main working body tasked with ensuring day-to-day operation of the Union’s bureaucracy and implementation of the policy agenda assigned to the EAEU level. The EEC does not function as a single body, being split into the EEC Council and the EEC Board, with subordinate departments assisting them in performing their duties.
The EEC Council is composed of Deputy Prime Ministers of the EAEU member states chosen by the member states themselves. The Council holds its meetings at least once a month. It approves key decisions that fall within the EEC’s competence (eg, establishment of customs duties, adoption of technical regulations, regulation of common customs procedures and customs rates) and controls the activities of the EEC Board.
The EEC Board is a permanent executive body (somewhat similar to the European Commission in the EU) that meets, as a rule, once a week. The Board consists of 10 members, two from each EAEU member state, appointed by the Supreme Council for four years (though their term can be extended). The Chair of the Board is appointed for four years on a rotational basis between the EAEU member states without the right to extend his or her term.
Each member of the EEC Board is responsible for a specific economic sphere (eg, trade issues, technical regulation, customs regulation). The position of Board member is quite influential because of the significant and increasing powers of the EEC. Generally, the EEC Board members are supposed to act as supranational officials free from national influence, however in practice they usually take into account the position of their home country.
The Board may adopt legally binding decisions, orders (which are of an administrative nature and, as a rule, are aimed at organising interaction and exchange of documents between the member states) and recommendations (non-binding). Usually decisions are taken by a qualified majority (two-thirds of the total number of members), though there is an extensive list of ‘sensitive issues’ (eg, approval of common sanitary, epidemiological and hygienic requirements for goods; the list of ‘sensitive issues’ is established by Appendix No. 2 to the EEC Rules and Regulations) where a consensus is required.
Twenty-five departments (including the Technical Regulation and Accreditation Department and Customs Tariff and Non-Tariff Regulation Department), supervised by the members of the Board, support the activities of the EEC Council and the EEC Board by:
- preparing draft EAEU documents;
- monitoring enforcement of EAEU law by the member states;
- preparing proposals for consideration by the EEC Board based on the monitoring results; and
- interacting with the government authorities in the member states.
The departments include officials and employees selected on a competitivebasis.
Also, the EEC Board may establish advisory bodies that primarily have the aim of conducting consultations with the representatives of the EAEU member states and preparing recommendations for the EEC in a particular regulatory sphere. Advisory bodies may include government authorities, representatives of the business community and independent experts.
Specifics of the decision-making process in the EAEU
Taking into account the structure and powers of the EAEU bodies, several specific features of the decision-making process in the EAEU can be identified.
First, the EAEU bodies – the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, the Intergovernmental Council and the EEC Council – take their decisions by consensus. This mechanism ensures that interests of all EAEU member states are taken into account and hinders adoption of ‘unfavourable’ decisions.
In fact, any individual member state may stall the decision-making process if a conflict arises, a tactic that may also be used by business to postpone or block initiatives considered. This situation is typical for the sphere of technical regulation. If one of the EAEU member states proposes to establish EAEU-wide requirements that are tighter than those applicable in other states, the latter may try to block the adoption of such requirements. This can be illustrated by the long and, so far, unsuccessful attempts to approve the EAEU technical regulation on household chemicals and synthetic detergents (due, for example, to opposition from Kazakhstan).
Secondly, decision-making procedures at the EAEU level are more complicated and time consuming compared to the decision-making process at the national level. This is explained by the fact that draft initiatives are discussed both in the EAEU member states and in the EAEU bodies with multiple consideration and approval stages, as well as a large number of stakeholders involved in the process.
Thirdly, the EAEU bodies, namely the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, the Intergovernmental Council and the EEC Council, have quasiappellate powers as they are empowered to amend, suspend or repeal decisions of inferior EAEU bodies. Specifically, upon adoption of a decision by the EEC Board, the EAEU member states and the EEC Council members may request changes or cancellation of the decision within 15 days from the date of its publication. In this case, the issue is considered by the EEC Council or the Intergovernmental Council, or subsequently by the Supreme Council if the EEC Council fails to reach a consensus.
In addition, yearly rotation of the EAEU bodies’ chairs (except for the chairman of the EEC Board, who is appointed for four years) stipulated by the EAEU Treaty may also influence the decision-making process as the presiding country gets an opportunity to shape the agenda. Following Armenia’s chairmanship in 2019, Belarus has the presidency in 2020. In this regard, it is noteworthy that Belarus is presiding over all EAEU bodies, including the EEC Board, as the term of the current EEC Board members ends on 31 January 2020 and the next Chairman shall be a citizen of Belarus, as the rotation principle stipulates.
National subdivisions 3 Describe the extent to which a legislative or rule-making authority relevant to lobbying practice also exists at regional, provincial or municipal level.
The EAEU is a supranational organisation, therefore, there is no division of power into federal, regional and municipal levels. As mentioned above, powers in the EAEU are divided among the Supreme Council, the Intergovernmental Council and the EEC (which has its own hierarchy).
The Treaty does not provide for a clear division of competency between the supranational and national levels, which is linked to the fact that there is a different degree of integration in the various economic sectors. Thus, division of powers depends on the scope of regulation, the commodity market and certain exceptions, such as the non-application by a member state of the general rules of functioning of the EAEU’s internal market.
With regard to the above approach, the Treaty provides for the implementation of a unified, conciliatory or coordinated policy among the EAEU member states. A unified policy involves unified regulation in the member states, including through decisions of the EAEU bodies; a conciliatory policy provides for harmonisation of regulations within the EAEU; and a coordinated policy implies cooperation between the EAEU member states on the basis of a common approach.
Examples of the division of powers in the EAEU are as follows: technical and customs tariff regulation is the exclusive competence of the EAEU; and macroeconomic policy relates to joint regulation of the EAEU and its member states (the EAEU establishes quantitative values of macroeconomic indicators determining sustainability of their economic development). A number of other important areas are regulated by the member states independently with due regard for their commitments in the EAEU (eg, tax policy).
With regulatory powers in such spheres as technical regulation, customs tariff and non-tariff regulation, etc, the EAEU bodies became important decision-making platforms able to impact the business environment. At the same time, development of the EAEU and formation of common markets (eg, in the finance, pharmaceutical and energy sectors) is likely to lead to further increases in the powers of the EAEU.
In addition, the EAEU may see expansion of powers in consumer protection, anti-monopoly regulation and other spheres which are currently mainly regulated by the EAEU member states but with due regard for their commitments in the EAEU. For example, the EEC advocates the need to develop a public initiative mechanism that will allow the EEC to take proactive measures to identify and prevent violations of competition rules. Within this mechanism, the EEC may be entitled to identify on its own initiative (without a complaint filed by a market participant or EAEU member state) priority markets for competition investigation, and issue warning letters following investigations so that entities in breach of the competition rules can take measures to remedy the violations.
It is also noteworthy that, apart from regulatory powers, the EAEU has an exclusive right to conclude agreements on the establishment of free trade areas (FTAs). This means that the EAEU member states cannot sign these agreements themselves.
Following the establishment of an FTA with Vietnam (operational since 2016), the EAEU signed FTA agreements with Serbia and Singapore (FTA agreements signed in October 2019 are subject to ratification procedures in the EAEU member states, as well as in Serbia and Singapore respectively). Also, 2019 saw the entry into force of the temporary FTA agreement between the EAEU and Iran. The agreement provides for reduction or cancellation of customs duties for a limited list of goods, but stipulates the need to negotiate the establishment of a comprehensive FTA by 2022.
Egypt, India and Israel could become the next countries to sign FTA agreements with the EAEU, as the respective negotiations have already been launched.
Consultation process 4 Does the legislative process at national or subnational level include a formal consultation process? What opportunities or access points are typically available to influence legislation?
There are several ways of protecting business interests within the EAEU.
Public consultations on draft decisions (governed by Chapter VIII of the EEC Rules and Regulations)
Draft decisions of the EAEU bodies prepared by the EEC are released for public consultation at least 30 calendar days before the planned date of their adoption.
A public consultation is not conducted in relation to draft decisions on the issues of customs regulation, application of special protective anti-dumping and countervailing measures or issues subject to regulatory impact assessment. The department responsible for the draft decision (the department) publishes the decision on the official EEC website. The period of public consultation is determined by the department, but it cannot be less than 20 days from the date of the publication of the draft decision. In exceptional cases requiring prompt decision-making, a public consultation may not be held or the length of time for it may be reduced.
All parties concerned may take part in a public consultation. The department must publish a summary of comments and suggestions from participants of the consultation within five days of the end of the public consultation. Based on the contents of the summary, the department can do the following:
- amend the draft decision taking into account the comments and suggestions provided (it is not required to incorporate all of the recommended changes);
- dismiss all suggestions – in this case, the draft decision will be submitted to the EEC for further consideration without any substantial amendments; or
- refuse to elaborate the draft decision, which means that it will not be subject to further consideration and will not be adopted.
Regulatory impact assessment (Chapter IX of the EEC Rules and Regulations)
Draft decisions of the EEC Council and the EEC Board that may influence the business environment (with a few exceptions) are subject to regulatory impact assessment.
Regulatory impact assessment is carried out in two stages. In the first stage, the draft decision is subjected to a public consultation with business entities and other parties concerned (the decision is published on the EEC’s portal for this purpose). The period of public consultation cannot be less than 30 days. The business community can submit comments on draft decisions or fill in a standardised questionnaire as a means of giving feedback. Within 10 days after the end of the public consultation, the department responsible for the draft decision provides a summary of comments and suggestions. Following the public consultation, the department can amend the draft decision (if necessary) and submit it for further consideration or refuse to further elaborate it.
The second stage is preparation of an opinion on the regulatory impact assessment by a special EEC working group headed by an EEC Board member in charge of economy and financial policy. The opinion must be prepared within 15 days. On the basis of the opinion, the department can finalise the draft decision. Following the consideration, the EEC Council or the EEC Board (depending on which body considers the decision) may either adopt the decision, submit it for further amendments or refuse to adopt it.
Sending official enquiries to the EEC (Chapter III, article 7 of the EEC Rules and Regulations)
According to the regulation, legal entities may send enquiries to the EEC in written form or in the form of an electronic document. Enquiries are logged and processed by the relevant departments (this must be completed within 30 days). In addition, the EEC may request legal entities to provide additional information necessary for exercising its powers.
Cooperation with the EEC via the Advisory Board for Interaction between the EEC and the Business Council of the EAEU (Regulation on the Advisory Board for Interaction of the EEC and the EAEU Business Council)
The Advisory Board for Interaction between the EEC and the EAEU Business Council (an advisory body that includes cross-industrial business unions of the EAEU member states and represents their positions) provides interaction between the business community and the EEC representatives in certain spheres, including: entrepreneurship development; manufacturing; mutual and foreign trade; and technical regulation. Proposals of the Business Council submitted to the EEC are considered by the Advisory Board. The Advisory Board includes the chairman of the EEC Board, members of the EEC Board, members of the Presidium of the Business Council and business community representatives. Decisions of the Advisory Board are not binding, which means the Board does not have much influence on decision-making.
Interaction within the framework of advisory bodies and working groups under the EEC Board
According to Chapter III, article 44 of the Treaty, the EEC Board is entitled to form advisory bodies, which may include representatives of the government authorities of the member states and the business community. Narrow practical issues are discussed within the advisory bodies.
Judiciary 5 Is the judiciary deemed independent and co-equal? Are judges elected or appointed? If judges are elected, are campaigns financed through public appropriation or candidate fundraising?
The EAEU Court is an independent body composed of 10 judges (two from each member state), located in Minsk (Belarus). The Court activities are governed by the Treaty and the statute of the EAEU Court.
Judges are appointed for nine years by the Supreme Council on the proposal of the member states. The Court chairman and his or her deputy (who represent different states) are elected by the panel of judges for three years. Upon expiry of the term, the judges select the next chairman and his or her deputy from among the judges representing other member states (ie, the chairman and deputy cannot be elected from the same states that the former chairman and deputy represented).
The EAEU Court can prepare advisory opinions on interpretation of the sources and rules of EAEU law, and it can consider disputes related to enforcement of EAEU law. In case of disputes, claims may be filed by the member states or economic entities. Economic entities can apply to the Court if their rights and interests are affected by the actions or inaction of the EEC. However, a dispute can be examined by the Court only after the parties have tried to settle the dispute in a pretrial order through consultations, negotiations, etc (the parties are given three months to settle).
Court decisions on consideration of disputes are legally binding. However, in practice, the EAEU Court is an ineffective body to protect the interests of the private sector for the following reasons.
First, the Court is not entitled to consider issues of non-compliance with its decisions. These issues are considered by the Supreme Council. However, enforcement of a court decision can be blocked in the Supreme Council by any member state, since all decisions of the Supreme Council are passed on a consensus basis.
Secondly, the EAEU Court is not popular as a dispute resolution body as it is perceived as having little influence. In addition, the business community is insufficiently informed about the activities of the Court.
Thirdly, challenging statutory legal acts and actions of the EEC is possible in other international courts (eg, the World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Body) and the national courts of the EAEU countries. Foreign investors frequently use international courts, rather than the EAEU Court, to challenge EEC decisions.
Regulation of lobbying
6 Is lobbying self-regulated by the industry, or is it regulated by the government, legislature or an independent regulator? What are the regulator’s powers? Who may issue guidance on lobbying? What powers of investigation does the regulator have? What are the regulators’ or other officials’ powers to penalise violators?
There is no separate statutory legal act governing lobbying in the EAEU.
7 Is there a definition or other guidance as to what constitutes lobbying?
There is no definition of lobbying in EAEU law.
Registration and other disclosure
8 Is there voluntary or mandatory registration of lobbyists? How else is lobbying disclosed?
Owing to a lack of regulation on lobbying, there are no requirements in the EAEU for registering lobbyists or disclosing information on carrying out lobbying activities.
In practice, sending formal written enquiries is the preferred form of interaction with the EEC. It is also recommended to send written enquiries in case business community representatives have already discussed the issue with the EEC members at forums, etc, or within the framework of oral negotiations.
Activities subject to disclosure or registration
9 What communications must be disclosed or registered?
Oral negotiations with the employees of the EAEU bodies are not subject to disclosure or registration.
Official written enquiries and enquiries sent to the EEC by legal entities are registered by the EEC.
Entities and persons subject to lobbying rules
10 Which entities and persons are caught by the disclosure rules?
There is no legal regulation of lobbying or requirements to disclose information about lobbying in the EAEU.
11 What information must be registered or otherwise disclosed regarding lobbyists and the entities and persons they act for? Who has responsibility for registering the information?
There is no legal obligation to register or otherwise disclose information regarding lobbyists and the entities and persons they act for.
Content of reports
12 When must reports on lobbying activities be submitted, and what must they include?
There are no requirements in the EAEU to provide reports on lobbying.
Financing of the registration regime
13 How is the registration system funded?
There is no registration system for lobbyists in the EAEU.
Public access to lobbying registers and reports
14 Is access to registry information and to reports available to the public?
EAEU law does not regulate lobbying and does not specify the need to submit reports on lobbying. Therefore, such information is not disclosed and is not published in open sources.
Code of conduct
15 Is there a code of conduct that applies to lobbyists and their practice?
There is no code of conduct for lobbyists in the EAEU.
16 Are there restrictions in broadcast and press regulation that limit commercial interests’ ability to use the media to influence public policy outcomes?
Media activities are not regulated at the EAEU level.
17 How are political parties and politicians funded in your jurisdiction?
There are no legislative bodies (such as a parliament or an inter-parliamentary assembly) or political parties in the EAEU because it is an economic, rather than a political integration organisation.
The activities of the EAEU bodies and their officials are financed by the EAEU budget, which is formed on the basis of contributions from the member states. According to the EEC Rules and Procedures, EEC Board members and officials are not entitled to receive remuneration from individuals or legal entities in connection with exercising their authority.
Registration of interests
18 Must parties and politicians register or otherwise declare their interests? What interests, other than travel, hospitality and gifts, must be declared?
According to the EEC Rules and Regulations, EEC Board members and other EEC officials are not entitled to combine their work in the EEC with any other work, except for scientific, creative and teaching activities. In particular, they may not participate in the activities of the management body of a commercial entity or carry out entrepreneurship activity. Members of the EEC Board and other EEC officials who are shareholders of organisations or who hold income-generating securities must transfer the securities or shares held by them to a trustee who will be responsible for their management.
In general, the regulation establishes that the EEC members must take measures to resolve and prevent conflicts of interest when exercising their powers in the EEC.
According to the Regulation on the provision by the EEC Board members and other EEC employees of income details, information on property and property obligations, the EEC employees and members of the EEC Board must annually provide the following information about themselves and their family members, including minor children:
- information on income from all sources (pensions, allowances, other payments);
- information on property;
- details of funds held in bank accounts or in accounts in other banking institutions; and
- information on shares and participation in commercial organisations, including grounds for obtaining a stake in organisations (acquisition, donation, inheritance, etc), and information on other securities.
Failure to provide information on income and property, or provision of false information, is subject to disciplinary action.
As for the judges from the EAEU Court, they cannot engage in any activities related to income generation, except for scientific, creative and teaching activities. In addition, judges are not entitled to represent the interests of commercial organisations.
Contributions to political parties and officials
19 Are political contributions or other disbursements to parties and political officials limited or regulated? How?
This issue is not applicable to the EAEU as there are no political parties.
Sources of funding for political campaigns
20 Describe how political campaigns for legislative positions and executive offices are financed.
This issue is not applicable to the EAEU. All executive officials in the EAEU are appointed.
Lobbyist participation in fundraising and electioneering
21 Describe whether registration as a lobbyist triggers any special restrictions or disclosure requirements with respect to candidate fundraising.
This issue is not applicable to the EAEU as the registration of lobbyists is not provided for in EAEU law.
Independent expenditure and coordination
22 How is parallel political campaigning independent of a candidate or party regulated?
According to the Treaty, EEC Board members are not entitled to use material resources, technical facilities and other resources and property of the Board for purposes not related to the exercise of authority. Use of the EAEU budgetary funds by Union bodies is monitored within the audit of financial and economic activities (which is conducted at least once every two years) and the annual external audit to monitor formation, management and disposal of the budget, property and other assets of the EAEU.
According to the EEC Rules and Regulations, members of the EEC Board and other EEC employees are not entitled to use their powers in the interests of any political parties, or public or religious associations. They are also prohibited from publicly expressing their attitude to such organisations or associations. In addition, Board members and other EEC officials are not allowed to create political parties or subdivisions of political parties, or public and religious associations in the EEC (with the exception of trade unions, associations of war veterans and other public activity bodies), or to contribute to the creation of such structures. Violation of the above-mentioned restrictions leads to early termination of powers. Such restrictions are related to the fact that the EAEU does not imply any political integration.
According to the statute of the Court, judges also cannot represent the interests of any political parties and movements, social or religious groups, or individuals.
Ethics and anti-corruption
Gifts, travel and hospitality
23 Describe any prohibitions, limitations or disclosure requirements on gifts, travel or hospitality that legislative or executive officials may accept from the public.
According to the EEC Rules and Regulations, members of the EEC Board and other EEC officials are not entitled to receive any gifts, remuneration, services, payment for entertainment, leisure time activities, travel costs, etc, from individuals or legal entities in connection with the exercise of authority. Gifts received at events or during business trips are recognised as the EEC’s property and are handed over to the Board under a certificate. A Board member may then buy this gift under the procedure approved by the EEC Council.
In addition, members of the EEC Board and its officials are not entitled to go on trips related to the exercise of authority at the expense of individuals or legal entities.
24 What anti-bribery laws apply in your jurisdiction that restrict payments or otherwise control the activities of lobbyists or holders of government contracts?
There are no anti-corruption laws or regulations in the EAEU. Unlike the European Union, the EAEU is not a member of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. Measures on combating corruption and corrupt business practices are regulated by the EAEU member states at the national level.
Scholars and experts on anti-corruption issues from the EAEU member states noted the need for harmonisation of the anti-corruption laws in these states and the adoption of common documents (eg, a convention) in this field. However, there have been no developments on the issue thus far.
25 Are there any controls on public officials entering the private sector after service or becoming lobbyists, or on private-sector professionals being seconded to public bodies?
This issue is not governed by EAEU law.
In general, a revolving door practice among former EEC employees who used to hold management positions is not very common, though they may occupy positions related to the private sector. The most well-known example is that of Viktor Khristenko who became president of the EAEU Business Council in 2016 after the end of his term as chair of the EEC Board.
As the activity of the EAEU bodies, including the EEC, is based on a rotational principle, the common practice is that former officials of the EAEU bodies continue their bureaucratic career in national state bodies. By way of example, Andrey Slepnev (Russia) used to be a member (minister) of the EEC Board in charge of trade issues from 2012 to 2016, and then served as Deputy Chief of the government staff of the Russian Federation and Director of the Department of Project Activities of the government of the Russian Federation. In May 2018, Mr Slepnev was appointed head of the Russian Export Centre, the state-run development institute (it was established by the government to support non-primary export).
The leading positions in the EEC are occupied by officials from the national executive authorities with bureaucratic experience. For example, Timur Suleimenov was appointed Minister of National Economy of Kazakhstan (holding this position from 2016 until 2019) after leaving the position of EEC Board member in charge of economic and financial policy. Currently, Mr Suleimenov is Deputy Chairman of the Presidential Administration of Kazakhstan (since July 2019).
In addition, a political career for former EEC employees in their countries is possible but unlikely.
Prohibitions on lobbying
26 Is it possible to be barred from lobbying or engaging lobbying services? How?
This is not applicable as there is no regulation of lobbying in the EAEU.
Recent cases and sanctions
27 Analyse any recent high-profile judicial or administrative decisions dealing with the intersection of government relations, lobbying registration and political finance?
No such cases were registered.
Remedies and sanctions
28 In cases of non-compliance or failure to register or report, what remedies or sanctions have been imposed?
This issue is not applicable to the EAEU as there is no relevant regulation.
Update and trends
Key developments of the past year
29 Are there any emerging trends or hot topics in government relations, lobbying or related law and regulation? Have changes occurred recently or are changes expected in the near future (through either legislation or court decisions) that will have an impact on the practice of government relations or lobbying disclosure?
From the government relations perspective, one of the key issues is the appointment of the new EEC Board.
On 20 December 2019, the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council approved the new composition of the EEC Board.
Belarus takes over the chairmanship of the Commission from Armenia. Mikhail Myasnikovich, a former speaker of the upper house of the Belarusian Parliament and ex-Prime Minister of Belarus, was appointed the EEC Board Chairman. He and the whole new EEC Board are in office from 1 February 2020.
The staff rotations in the newly appointed EEC Board are rather limited – seven of the 10 Board members retained their office, while there are only three new members:
- Mikhail Myasnikovich from Belarus replaces Tigran Sarkisyan from Armenia as the new Chairman;
- Artak Kamalyan from Armenia replaces Alexander Subbotin from Belarus as the EEC Board member in charge of industrial and agro-industrial policy; and
- Gegam Vardanyan from Armenia replaces Karine Minasyan, another Armenian representative, supervising internal markets, digitalisation and information technology issues.
The following seven Board members retained their office:
- Sergey Glazyev (Russia), EEC Board member in charge of integration and macroeconomics issues;
- Veronika Nikishina (Russia), EEC Board member supervising trade issues;
- Nurlan Akmatov (Kyrgyzstan), EEC Board member in charge of customs cooperation;
- Viktor Nazarenko (Belarus), EEC Board member in charge of technical regulation;
- Timur Zhaksylykov (Kazakhstan), EEC Board member supervising economic and financial policy;
- Serik Zhumangarin (Kazakhstan), EEC Board member supervising competition and anti-monopoly regulation issues; and
- Emil Kaykiyev (Kyrgyzstan), EEC Board member in charge of energy and infrastructure policy.
The EEC Board’s term of office is four years (until the end of January 2024), although early rotation of the Board members is a usual practice.
The term of office of the new EEC Board under Belarusian Chairmanship will be a milestone from the point of view of the EAEU’s prospects. It is assumed that by 2025 the EAEU member states should form a single regulatory field for a number of key markets – for example energy, transport, financial and labour markets.
Thus, the main part of the preparatory work for the launch of single markets will be carried out in the coming years. The effectiveness of this work will largely determine the prospects for the existence of the EAEU as a whole.