Free movement of people in the EAEU: between Civis Eurasiaticus and Homo Oeconomicus

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Authors: Benedikt Pirker, Kirill Entin

DOI: 10.21128/2226-2059-2020-1-79-96

Keywords: citizenship; EAEU Law; EU law; Eurasian Economic Union; Eurasian Economic Union Court; free movement of people; workers


The present article examines the provisions of the law of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) on the free movement of persons, focusing on workers. The authors analyse the notion of “worker” in EAEU law as well as the rights and protections for workers and their family members. While in many aspects they appear to be similar with the ones that exist in the European Union legal framework, due to a number of inherent limitations contained in the EAEU Treaty the overall status of workers is significantly less advantageous than that under EU law even before the introduction of the EU citizenship. The EAEU Treaty notably denies workers permanent residence rights and places emphasis on the workers’ obligations to respect the culture and traditions of the host Member State. Thus, EAEU law seems to adhere to a narrow “Homo Oeconomicus” perspective with regard to “its” citizens and the road towards a “Civis Eurasiaticus” (Eurasian citizen) comparable to a “Civis Europaeus” appears to be long and winding. At the same time EAEU Treaty provisions contain enough “wiggle room” for the EAEU Court to play a significant role. In the Professional Athletes case it gave a broad definition of the notion of “restrictions” and established the direct effect of the relevant Treaty provisions. One may hope that its future case law continues to adhere to a rights-based reading of EAEU law and develops its own “citizenship spirit”. Finally, the citizenship provisions of the Russia-Belarus Union state legal framework could also become a potential source for a spill-over into EAEU law.

About the authors: Kirill Entin – Candidate of Sciences (Ph.D.) in Law, Counsellor of the Legal research and analysis department, Eurasian Economic Union Court, Minsk, Belarus; Head of the Eurasian sector of the Centre for Comprehensive European and International Studies, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia; Benedikt Pirker – Ph.D. in Law, Lecturer and Researcher, the Institute for European Law, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland.

Citation: Entin K., Pirker B. (2020) Svobodnoe dvizhenie lits v EAES: mezhdu Civis Eurasiaticus i Homo Oeconomicus [Free movement of people in the EAEU: between Civis Eurasiaticus and Homo Oeconomicus]. Mezhdunarodnoe pravosudie, vol.10, no.1, pp.79–96. (In Russian).


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