Free trade—what’s at stake
A new SITE policy paper presents what is really at stake for the citizens of Eastern Partnership countries when it comes to choosing free trade partners.
Much of the current discussion of pros and cons of Eastern partnership countries signing DCFTAs with the EU versus joining the Russian dominated customs union focuses on the wrong numbers. Instead of the excessive focus on short-‐run costs and benefits from trade and energy deals, the real issue is if people in Eastern partnership countries want to live in modern, democratic and transparent countries or in less open societies where most of the benefits accrue to ruling elites. These different social models are correlated with significant differences in a long list of indicators that are related to the well-‐being and happiness of people far beyond the billon dollar wheeling and dealing some politicians seem to think the choice between the EU or a Russia-‐led customs union is about.
Read more by downloading the SITE Policy paper here.