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Irina Popova 1
  • 1 RANEPA, 11 Prechistenskaya naberezhnaya, Moscow, 119034, Russian Federation

The Challenges of Implementing the EAEU’s Digital Agenda

2021. Vol. 16. No. 1. P. 127–144 [issue contents]

Digitalization is one of the dominant processes in contemporary economic development, both on the national level and globally. The process of articulating and implementing digital economy policies is underway in the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), and in 2017 the EAEU Strategic Directions for the Development of the Digital Agenda Until 2025 were adopted. Identifying the specificities and challenges of the digital agenda’s implementation in the context of integration processes in the region is the aim of this article. The study focuses on the interaction at the supranational level of decision-making within EAEU institutions, as well as the interaction of the national and supranational levels. The author concludes that the projects and initiatives are being implemented as a part of the agenda, albeit slowly. The other envisaged mechanisms require a much higher level of harmonization, for which EAEU leaders are not yet ready. The main features of the digital agenda’s implementation in the EAEU are the primacy of sovereignty, diverging levels of digitalization of members in both access to infrastructure and regulatory frameworks, project-based approaches to implementation, absence of a digital agenda in the EAEU Treaty and involvement of expert communities.

Based on analysis of the legal and regulatory framework, the following recommendations can be made: an institutional and legal framework for the digital agenda should be established, coordination between the national and supranational levels should be improved, digital strategies should be adopted and synchronized in all member states, the selection and implementation of initiatives should be improved, best practices should be adopted, and cooperation with international organizations and theEuropean Union (EU) should be developed.

For Russia, the development of a digital agenda within the EAEU and deepened integration (or development of cooperation) are necessary to ensure the realization of national interests in a priority region—the post-Soviet space—especially given the increasingly active developing regulatory influence of other actors, primarily the EU. Given the growing importance of digitalization as a driver of economic growth and the increasing competition for influence on the regulation of the digital economy, a priority for the Russian Federation should be to resolve the contradiction between the principle of primacy of sovereignty and the development of integration. A possible way out could be an approach based on ‘multi-speed integration,’ as tested in the EU. Another option could be a complete revision of the model of interaction with neighbours in the region.


Citation: Popova I. (2021) The Challenges of Implementing the EAEU’s Digital Agenda. International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 16, no 1, pp. 127-144 (in English).
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