Integrating in a Rough Neighbourhood? The Part of Sustainable Development in the EU Economic Integration Efforts in the Post-Soviet Space: The Case of Moldova
Forthcoming, Anna Aseeva, Jędrzej Górski, Daria Kotova, Anton Tugushev, and Ka Lok YIP, Transnational Dispute Management Journal, Special Issue ‘The Changing Paradigm of Dispute Resolution and Investment Protection in Post-soviet and Greater Eurasian Space’, 2019.
16 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2019
Date Written: December 10, 2019
Gunnar Wiegand and Evelina Schulz have labelled the European Union (EU)’s trade facilitation efforts in the post-Soviet space as an integration ‘in a rough neighbourhood’. With this in consideration, our article looks at the impact of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) between the EU and Moldova on the development of the latter in a broader context of the EU’s Eastern Partnership (EaP) and European Neighborhood Policy (ENP). There is a clear link between the EaP/ ENP framework, within which the policy of extending EU legislation to the post-Soviet states is actively promoted, and the Association Agreement with Moldova. Our analysis of the implementation of Moldova’s economic integration into the EU market highlights not only positive but also several negative trends of this process. Namely, in the shorter term, Moldova’s economic, political and social benefits from the DCFTA are far from sustainable, as they are primarily associated with drastic legislative changes, as well as an increase in the export of raw materials and low-tech goods. In the long term, however, the DCFTA provisions bear the potential for the sustainable development of Moldova; but the effectiveness of their implementation depends primarily on solving systemic problems in the country. Against this background, we then offer an analysis of recent transnational disputes over one of the most crucial elements of Moldova’s sustainable development—namely, electricity. In particular, the so far latest ruling in the Energoalians 20 year-long row is essential both for the resolution of future transnational energy disputes under the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) and for a better understanding of the EU’s attitude towards Moldova and its further European integration.
Keywords: EU trade facilitation; European neighborhood policy; Sustainable development; Moldova; Energy Charter Treaty arbitration
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