COOPERATION OF EAEU COUNTRIES IN IMPLEMENTATION OF NATIONAL PROGRAMS FOR IMPROVING FINANCIAL LITERACY AS A FACTOR OF INTEGRATION OF CITIZENS INTO THE UNIFIED FINANCIAL SPACE OF THE UNION.

Author:Vikhrova, Olga
Position:Report - Abstract
 
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INTRODUCTION

An agreement on the creating of the Eurasian Economic Union was signed by presidents of Russian Federation, Kazakhstan and Belarus at the end of May 2014 in Astana. In January 2015 the document came into force and Armenia and Kyrgyzstan joined into the union. One of the main tasks of the states becomes providing the integration of citizens into the new economic space as of today, when the agreement that is forming basis of the common market of the EAEU and the new quality of the integration processes, has taken on quite real forms in the type of the absence of customs barriers and free migration of labour resources and its implementation passes to the stage of formation of a unified business environment and a common financial market.

Only cooperation of the states in the field of universal financial education will allow providing citizens of the EAEU with the information necessary for free orientation in a single financial space, minimizing possible risks of citizens in the new financial field and accelerating its stabilization. In addition, cooperation in this area will lay the foundation of the solution of the problem of the lack of unified educational projects on the territory of the EAEU, which some experts consider as a factor that significantly impedes the development of the integration partnership-this problem was repeatedly discussed at the meetings of the Eurasian Club of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (U) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the meetings of the expert club "World of Eurasia" in Almaty, as well as in the works of Avetisyan, Zaslavskaya and Galikyan (2016) and ensure the formation of a common ideological base without which full regional integration is impossible (Avetisyan, 2016).

To address this large-scale task, it is advisable to use the experience which is already available in the states to increase the financial literacy of the population and cooperation should be organize at the level of programs which is covering all segments of the population. For this reason, the proposed article aims to analyse national programs of increasing the financial literacy of the population of the member countries of the Eurasian Economic Union for possible coordination and on the basis of the results obtained, to propose possible areas of inter-state cooperation within these projects that facilitate the integration of the population of the EAEU countries into a single financial space Union.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Over the past decade, individual activities of informing citizens about financial products and services that are available in the markets of countries and disparate advisory materials on the management of personal budgets have been transformed into national programs to increase the financial literacy of the population and such international organizations have become engaged in the protection of consumers' rights and the dissemination of public financial education as the United Nations, OECD and the World Organization of Consumers. National programs of increasing a financial literacy in cooperation with international organizations began to be implemented in the states of the post-Soviet space. Kazakhstan was the flagship of the spread of public financial education in the territory of the EAEU in 2007 and in 2016 the corresponding program was approved by the government of the Kyrgyz Republic (Table 1).

Despite of the experience of implementing programs in each of the countries of the Union and the fact that the problem of the integration of the population of the EAEU into the new financial space is updated every year and the time for its solution is decreasing, the issue of coordination of national programs to increase the financial literacy of the participating countries of EAEU countries has not been considered previously by any of the authors.

The mention of the need to increase financial literacy in the EAEU is found in the lecture "Actual Issues of Raising the Level of Financial Literacy of the Population in the Context of Eurasian Integration" (Sorokin, 2016) and in the article of Ponomarenko and Nikitina (2015), which served as the basis for the first material. As the main ways to solve this problem, the authors propose the introduction of initial financial education in schools, the introduction of retraining programs for teachers and special courses in financial markets in higher education institutions and the creation of public information systems on finance and integration processes, including in the Eurasian space (Ponomarenko, 2015). However, from the author's point of view, these measures only partially meet the set goal, since they do not ensure the involvement of all sections of the population, as well as the equal participation of citizens of all union states in them due to the lack of inter-state coordination of these activities.

Currently there are only two overview industry reports on the financial literacy programs of the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union: "About the development of financial literacy programs in the EurAsEC member states" from the 3rd of October, 2012 and "About raising the level of financial literacy and the development of financial education in the states--participants of the CIS", published three years later. At the same time, a significant amount of information in these documents is outdated, the review of the activities of countries cannot be called exhaustive and Armenia is not represented in documents in principle. At the same time, in the report "Working out of the strategy of the development of financial markets of the member states of the CU and the SES for the period till 2025" which is dedicated to the gradual formation of the general financial market of the EAEU, in the description of the second stage of the section "Main stages of harmonization of regulation policies and legislation in financial markets" presented the column "Development and adoption by the member states of the unified recommendations for the system of consumers protection of financial services and financial literacy."

By virtue of the lack of scientific publications on this topic, the documents of the Eurasian Economic Commission, as well as the Central Banks and relevant ministries of the regional association states, websites and information portals on financial literacy of the EAEU member countries, media sites involved in the activities of the countries studied in the field of increasing the financial literacy of the population, the texts of national programs of increasing the financial literacy of each of the countries of the Union and other regulatory legal acts.

Analysis of National Programs of Increasing the Financial Literacy of the Population of the Member-Countries of the EAEU

In accordance with generally accepted international practice, the development and implementation of national programs of increasing financial literacy in the early stages is in the hands of the coordinating authorities of state power. Representatives of the commercial sector and individuals are involving step-by-step into the implementation of programs and, most often, are represented by providers of financial products, services and the media. In all countries of the Eurasian Economic Union, the issues of increasing the financial literacy of the population are also addressed at the state level and the following institutions provide coordination of project implementation: The National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Kazakhstan, the Ministry of Finance of Russian Federation in Russia, the National Bank of Kyrgyzstan in Kyrgyzstan and the Committee, which includes profile ministries, public organizations, associations of Armenia and individuals, under the coordination of the Central Bank are in Armenia. In Belarus, this function is performed by the Interdepartmental Coordination Council headed by the representative of the National Bank, which includes representatives of the National Bank, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Taxes and Duties, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Information, the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, as well as the Association of Belarusian banks.

Thus, the Central banks have a key role in increasing the financial literacy of the population of the EAEU countries. In most countries, they are the initiators of the development and implementation of a number of...

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