The process of regional economic integration in the post-Soviet space was initiated almost in the same time with the dissolution of URSS. It started with the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), followed by regional initiatives-which were led by the Central Asian republics-, and the CIS sub-regional projects, driven by Russia. However, before the creation of the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC), these projects of economic integration showed significant failings of their institutional design. The creation of the EurAsEC indicates Russia's new approach of regional economic integration in the post-Soviet space. That approach will be further carried out through a high degree of institutionalization and legalization and by an EU-emulated institutional design. The EU emulation has been subsequently manifested in the creation of the Eurasian Customs Union (ECU), and notably in that of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Both organizations establish institutionalized legal regimes with binding effects, enhanced by dispute resolution mechanisms, transferred competences and a supranational bureaucracy. Further, the EU emulation is wider in the EEU's institutional design than in the ECU's, as it has inspired not only the introduction of restrictions and ethic rules regulating the activity of the EEU's supranational bureaucracy, but also the creation of "agreed" and "coordinated" policies, and the further establishment of the common markets and of a common economic space, ruled by economic convergence criteria.
PhD candidate and researcher at Center for International Relations Studies (CEFIR) of University of Liège.