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Prezentacja

D-BY: Delegation for relations with Belarus

The European Parliament's Delegation for relations with Belarus (D-BY) does not currently have official relations with the parliament of Belarus, due to the country's failure to conduct free and fair elections, establish the rule of law and respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.

However, the Delegation, along with several political groups in the European Parliament, maintains an active and close dialogue with representatives of the country's democratic opposition, independent non-governmental organisations and civil society.

Composition

The D-BY Delegation is currently chaired by Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski, a Polish member of the European People's Party. He is supported by two vice-chairs: Andrejs Mamikins and Valdemar Tomaševski.

The Delegation counts 12 full members, supported by up to 12 substitute members. All are nominated by the European Parliament's political groups, with the political makeup of the delegation mirroring that of Parliament as a whole.

Work

The Delegation meets regularly in Brussels or Strasbourg to discuss developments in the EU's policy on Belarus, to assess the political and economic situation in Belarus and to shape possible policy options.

The outcome of the Delegation's work contributes to the European Parliament's resolutions. These are sometimes addressed to other EU institutions and services, such as the European External Action Service and the European Commission, and offer recommendations regarding the evolution of the EU-Belarus relationship.

Recent developments

Because the authorities in Minsk repeatedly refused to issue entrance visas, the Parliament's Delegation was unable to travel to Belarus between 2002 and 2014.

A visit to Minsk was finally possible in June 2015. It was followed by another visit of the Delegation in Minsk in July 2017, and another visit (at Bureau level) in October 2018. The agendas of these visits notably featured encounters with Ministers and members of the National Assembly of Belarus, but also meetings with human rights defenders, opposition figures and representatives of the civil society. At the parliamentary elections held in Belarus in September 2016, two opposition or independent members were elected to the Parliament for the first time since the elections in 2000.

European Parliament and EU position

Over the years, the European Parliament has closely monitored the situation with regard to democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Belarus. The Parliament strongly believes that it is time for this important neighbouring country to come closer to the EU.

EU-Belarus relations are currently guided by the Conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council set out on 15 February 2016, which sanctioned the policy of "critical engagement" of the EU vis-à-vis Belarus.