The European Parliament Delegation for relations with Belarus, established in 1994, does not have at present official relations with the parliament of Belarus, due to the failure of that country, so far, to conduct free and fair elections, to establish the rule of law and to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.
However, the Delegation, along with several political groups of the EP, maintains an active and close dialogue with the representatives of the democratic opposition, the independent non-governmental organisations and the civil society of Belarus. The Delegation meets regularly in Brussels or Strasbourg to discuss developments in EU policy towards Belarus, to assess the political and economic situation in the country, and to shape possible policy options which can serve both for drawing up EP resolutions and for directly sending messages to the EEAS, the Council or the Commission regarding possible further steps in EU-Belarus relations.
Due to the repeated policy of the authorities in Minsk of refusing entry visas, the Delegation was unable to travel to Belarus between 2002 and 2014. However, a visit of the Delegation to Minsk could at last take place in June 2015, during which meetings were held with, among others, members of the Council of the Republic, government representatives, NGOs, journalists and representatives of the families of political prisoners.
The EP has constantly maintained high on its agenda the improvement of the situation of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Belarus, and considers that it is time for this important neighbouring country to come closer to the EU.
EU-Belarus relations are currently governed by the conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council as last set out on 15 February 2016.
In the parliamentary elections held in Belarus in September 2016, opposition members were elected to the parliament for the first time since the elections in 2000.