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Legal issues and questions regarding the Customs Union between the Russian Federation, Belarus and Kazakhstan


Follow-up conference to the 15th Foreign Trade Law Conference in Muenster

In October 2010, the Center of Public Commercial Law e.V. (ZAR)  which forms part of the Institute of Public Commercial Law - organized the 15th Foreign Trade Law Conference. This was one of the first conferences to deal with the legal issues and questions regarding the Customs Union between the Russian Federation, Belarus and Kazakhstan. At the end of the successful conference the speakers and organizers agreed on a German- Russian follow-up conference to continue the work on this topic and to further academic relations.
The partnership agreement between the Wesfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster and the “National Research University- Higher School of Economics” (HSE) - which was signed on 22nd June 2011 - made it possible to realize this plan.

On 22nd July 2011, a German-Russian workshop on this topic was held in Moscow, as part of the the new cooperation between the HSE Moscow, the Westfälische Wilhelms- Universität Münster and the German Center for Research and Innovation.  A group of 18 participants were invited to the workshop to exchange views in an expert round and to enhance cooperation. Among them were Members of Commission of the Customs Union, representatives of the Department of Trade and Industry Russia, representatives of the attorney ship and Higher School of Economics, Moscow. Prof. Dr. Wolffgang and Prof. Dr. Rogmann represented the German and European point of view regarding the customs union.
The opening address was held by the Director of the Centre of Comparative Law of the Law Faculty of the HSE, Prof. Dr. Alexey Avtonomov and the Director of the German Centre for Research and Innovation, Prof. Dr. Wilfred Bergmann which stressed the importance of customs- and foreign trade law. Afterwards, seven speeches considered the legal issues of Customs Unions from different points of view. One perspective was the development and cooperation of the European Customs Union with the new Eurasian Customs Union, which was held by Prof. Dr. Wolffgang. Initial positive effects and weaknesses of the customs union which still need to be improved were presented by Anna Sysoeva and Prof. Dr. Galina Matvienko. Prof. Dr. Rogmann presented the need for unification and standardization from the legal perspective of the WTO. After the presentations the participants had time to discuss their issues and exchange ideas regarding the Eurasian Customs Union.

In conclusion, Prof. Dr. Wolffgang thanked all the participants for a successful conference and stressed the importance of continuing dialogue on this legal issue in order to promote the exchange of knowledge between the European Customs Union and the Eurasian Customs Union.


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