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Welcome from the Chair

Welcome to the site of the European Parliament's Delegation for relations with Belarus (D-BY).

The Delegation was established in 1994. Currently, the European Parliament does not have official relations with the Parliament of Belarus, due to the country's failure, so far, to conduct free and fair elections and to fulfil international standards for democracy and the rule of law.

EU-Belarus relations are therefore currently governed according to the latest conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council - issued on 15 February 2016. They are referred to as "critical engagement": tangible steps taken by Belarus so as to enshrine fundamental freedoms, the rule of law and human rights will remain essential criteria to shape the EU's future policy towards this country. Within these parameters, the Delegation maintains an active and close dialogue with representatives of the country's democratic opposition, independent non-governmental organisations and civil society.

Regular meetings are held in Brussels and Strasbourg to discuss the development of EU policy towards Belarus, and to assess the political and economic situation in the country and the evolution of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

Many years after its last visit, the Delegation travelled to Minsk, in the current legislature, in June 2015, in July 2017 and, at Bureau level, in October 2018. Small improvements of the situation were observed. In August 2015, political prisoners were released. Since parliamentary elections were held in September 2016, two opposition and independent members have been present in the country's parliament - for the first time since 2000.

Recently, Belarus has also engaged in a dialogue with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). It has also initiated reforms aimed at facilitating its future accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). It has also made progress in the protection of the environment and in governance, engaged into negotiations on visa facilitation and readmissions with the EU and resumed the dialogue on human rights since July 2015 in the framework of the EU-Belarus Human Rights Dialogue. The EU and Belarus are currently advancing well in their negotiations on new, tailor-made Partnership Priorities aimed at giving new impetus and direction to their relations in the years to come.

In this challenging context, I look forward to helping create - through the activities of the Delegation - the potential for a positive change for the people of Belarus.

Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski

Next meeting

23-10-2018 15:14
A visit of the Bureau of the Delegation for relations with Belarus to Minsk visit will take place from 28-30 October 2018.