Approximation of the National Legislation of Eastern Partnership Countries with EU Legislation in the Economic Field

03-05-2013

With the launch of the Eastern Partnership in 2009, the EU stepped up its involvement in Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus. The offer of a closer relationship with Eastern neighbours is contingent upon partner countries converging with EU norms and standards. Effective regulatory approximation in the economic field is therefore critical to anchoring the reform process in partner countries and to fostering further progress in EU’s relations with its Eastern neighbours. Against this backdrop, this briefing paper reviews the achievements to date in regulatory approximation in the economic field in Eastern Partnership countries. Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTAs) are a vital trade instrument for building up long-term economic relationships with eastern neighbours. They are likely to have a far-reaching influence on the reform process in partner countries. However, legal approximation and implementation of approximated legislation remain key challenges. The briefing highlights five major problems hindering legal approximation in the economic field: the complexity of the acquis to be adopted; institutional coordination; implementation capacities; costs of approximation and political sensitivity in partner countries. The briefing offers recommendations to improve the EU’s approach so that DCFTAs could fulfill their potential.

With the launch of the Eastern Partnership in 2009, the EU stepped up its involvement in Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus. The offer of a closer relationship with Eastern neighbours is contingent upon partner countries converging with EU norms and standards. Effective regulatory approximation in the economic field is therefore critical to anchoring the reform process in partner countries and to fostering further progress in EU’s relations with its Eastern neighbours. Against this backdrop, this briefing paper reviews the achievements to date in regulatory approximation in the economic field in Eastern Partnership countries. Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTAs) are a vital trade instrument for building up long-term economic relationships with eastern neighbours. They are likely to have a far-reaching influence on the reform process in partner countries. However, legal approximation and implementation of approximated legislation remain key challenges. The briefing highlights five major problems hindering legal approximation in the economic field: the complexity of the acquis to be adopted; institutional coordination; implementation capacities; costs of approximation and political sensitivity in partner countries. The briefing offers recommendations to improve the EU’s approach so that DCFTAs could fulfill their potential.