Single Economic Space to Be Created from Lisbon to Vladivostok

Schneider Group CEO Ulf Schneider, speaking at the international forum "Eurasian Week", presented the Berlin Memorandum, which assumes the creation of a single economic space from Lisbon to Vladivostok.

The Berlin Memorandum was developed by the head of the Schneider group of companies together with the famous German political scientist, Alexander Rahr. Within the framework of the project, a working group has been set up which is to unite the business, business associations and politicians of Eurasia, and stand as an official dialogue between the European Union Commission and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) Commission.

The working group of the Berlin Memorandum includes five large business and industry associations in Europe, several large companies, including Siemens and Bosch, as well as 50 individuals, among them developers of general legislative rules and standards.

"We believe that a single economic space from Vladivostok to Lisbon should be our joint future,” Schneider said. “In the EU, there are industry standards and very strong and interesting technologies, and in the EEU, especially in Russia and Kazakhstan, there are resources. In addition, good IT specialists live in the EEU - in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. We started developing the Berlin Memorandum in order to unite the potential of the European Union and the Unified Energy System".

According to the head of Schneider Group, the document is designed in 10 steps. And one of the most important is the requirement to start specific negotiations between the EU Commission and the EEA.

"We suggested starting not with global political issues, like, for example, the abolition of customs duties between the EU and the EEU,” Schneider said. “This is too big a question and cannot be quickly settled. It is necessary to begin with questions that affect the average businesses of Europe and the EEU. For example, to deal with procedures for clearance and obtaining quality certificates for products. Certificates must be unified. We analyzed and came to the conclusion that there is not much difference between the quality certificates for goods inside the European Union and inside the EEU but there is a huge difference in the procedure for obtaining them. That's how we can start unifying so that any product, any bottle, could have a common quality standard, from Vladivostok to Lisbon".

In addition, the authors of the Berlin Memorandum suggest negotiating exclusively at the level of the EU and EEU commissions, and not at the level of bilateral relations between countries.

Meanwhile, Ulf Schneider separately spoke of the need to gradually abolish the visa regime between the countries of the European Union and the EEU.

"It will make it easier to do business, communicate and create friendship among our peoples. Although a visa-free regime from Vladivostok to Lisbon, between the EEU and the EU, cannot come all at once, the first concrete steps are needed. And such steps are being taken. For example, Kazakhstan has taken the right step in this direction, announcing a visa-free regime for 30 days with citizens of EU countries. Now, this example has been followed by Belarus with the country introducing a 5-day visa-free regime. This is a very good contribution to the foundation of a visa-free project between the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union," Schneider stated.

David Smith

28 August 2017 16:53