Another session of the Russian-Belarussian inter-governmental working group for drafting a Constitutional Act of the Union State will meet on Wednesday in Moscow.
At the previous session the experts considered the four proposed variants of this draft fundamental document. They included a document drafted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of Russia and Belarus and the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament); the Constitutional Principles proposed by the Permanent Committee jointly with the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation; draft principles of the Constitutional Act worked out by the Belarussian part of the working group; and a draft Constitutional Act presented by Vice President of the Russian Association of Political Science Igor Yakovlev.
The discussion has shown that there are differences in the positions of the sides with regard to the future draft Constitutional Act and the state system of the Union State.
In particular, these differences concern the formation of the state - whether it will be a common state or an inter-state entity; what powers should be delegated to the Union State; and how the Constitutional Act will correlate with the Constitutions of Russia and Belarus.
In the opinion of State Secretary of the Union Pavel Borodin, the Union State must be built on the principles of the functioning of the European Union - the preservation of sovereignty, bringing some trends in the state development into the common competence, making amendments to the national Constitutions, and delegating powers to the Union State.
As to the powers of the union bodies, they will have a supra-state nature, but "only concerning delegated powers," Pavel Borodin believes.
The State Secretary defines nine trends in the powers of the union bodies: defence policy and military technological cooperation; the guarding of common borders; taxes and dues, including customs tariffs; emission, financial and credit policy; the formation of a structure of governing the Union State with appropriate bodies; formation of a union budget, management of state property and natural resources of the Union State; the creation of a common state based on the rule of law; and finally, the admission to the Union State of other states and the withdrawal procedure.
These nine trends, as Pavel Borodin believes, must be envisaged in the Constitutional Act of the Union State.