Procedure : 2010/2573(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0134/2010

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 10/03/2010 - 7.4

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0134/2010

to wind up the debate on statements by the Council and Commission

pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on Belarus

Charles Tannock, Michał Tomasz Kamiński, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Ryszard Czarnecki, Paweł Robert Kowal, Konrad Szymański, Adam Bielan, Marek Henryk Migalski, Mirosław Piotrowski on behalf of the ECR Group

European Parliament resolution on Belarus  

The European Parliament,

–    having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Belarus, in particular that of 2 April 2009 on bi-annual evaluation of the EU-Belarus dialogue(1),


–    having regard to the Commission communication of 3 December 2008 concerning the Eastern Partnership (COM(2008)0823),


–    having regard to the declaration on the Eastern Partnership issued by the European Council at its meeting of 19 and 20 March 2009 and to the joint declaration issued at the Prague Eastern Partnership Summit of 7 May 2009,


–    having regard to the statement on the Eastern Partnership issued by the European Council at its meeting of 10 and 11 December 2009,

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas application of the travel restrictions imposed on certain officials of the Belarusian Government, in accordance with the terms set out in Council Common Position 2009/314/CFSP, has been suspended until October 2010,

B.  whereas the Union of Poles in Belarus (UPB) led by Andzelika Borys is not officially recognised by the Belarusian authorities, which actively support the rival organisation by the same name led by Stanisław Siemiaszko,

C.  whereas on 8 February 2010 the Polish House in Ivyanets, run by the UPB, was forcibly taken over by Belarusian police and handed over to Mr. Siemiaszko’s organisation; whereas on 10 February 2010, during the protest in defence of the Polish House in Ivyanets, around 40 UPB activists were detained and sentenced to prison terms and fines,

D. whereas on 17 February 2010, after a trial conducted in gross violation of all recognised due process, the Belarusian court in Valozhyn District upheld the police action and confirmed the handing-over of the Polish House in Ivyanets to the organisation led by Mr. Siemiaszko; whereas many UPB members attempting to reach the court were detained on their way or refused admittance to the courtroom during the sitting,

E.  whereas the court in Grodno sentenced Polonica, a firm which organises Polish-language courses for more than 400 children in Belarus, to pay a fine of USD 25 000; whereas this decision, which in practice will lead to the liquidation of the firm headed by Andzelika Borys, was the outcome of a flawed and unjust trial,

F.  whereas the actions of the Belarusian authorities with a view to changing the UPB’s leadership and confiscating its property run counter to the declaration issued at the Eastern Partnership summit in Prague – and signed by Belarus – on 7 May 2009,

G.  whereas, despite repeated urgent requests from the Polish Government, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, did not issue her statement until a week after the incident,

H. whereas ethnic Poles make up an estimated 400 000 of Belarus’s total population of 10 million,

I.   whereas the Belarusian authorities are continuing to crack down on the opposition, disbanding peaceful rallies and assaulting protesters,

J.   whereas the Belarusian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Syarhei Martynau, has declared that ‘Belarus has a positive view on participation in the Eastern Partnership Initiative’, adding that Belarus intends to participate in that initiative,

K.  whereas the Belarusian delegation to the Eastern Partnership Parliamentary Assembly will consist of 10 observers from the political opposition and civil society,

L.  whereas the Belarusian Parliament’s membership of Euronest has been suspended because it is not recognised by the European Parliament, the OSCE or the Council of Europe,

M. whereas, as soon as elections to the Belarusian Parliament are free, fair, democratic and recognised as legitimate by the European Parliament, members of the Belarusian Parliament will be invited to join the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly and participate in its activities,

N.  whereas on 1 February 2010 Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree imposing internet censorship, which set up an ‘analysis centre’ able to monitor the internet and demand that service providers block access within 24 hours to any website it specifies, thus bringing Belarus into line with countries such as China, North Korea and Iran,

O. whereas, after two years of broadcasting, TV Belsat is the main independent source of information for Belarusians and the only television broadcaster to transmit a full range of programmes in the Belarusian language, and is attracting an increasing number of regular viewers in Belarus,

1.  Strongly condemns the actions of the Belarusian authorities against members of the organisation representing the Polish national minority and reiterates its call for Belarus to respect human rights and the rights of all of its citizens;


2.  Strongly condemns politically motivated trials and the judiciary’s apparent dependence on the Belarusian executive; calls, in this connection, on the appeal courts to set aside the decision to hand over the Polish House in Ivyanets to Mr. Siemiaszko’s organisation and to fine Polonica USD 25 000;


3.  Is of the opinion that the level of EU cooperation with the Belarusian authorities should be directly linked to the level of respect for human rights in Belarus;


4.  Calls on the Council to consider reinstituting application of the travel restrictions imposed on certain officials of the Belarusian Government and imposing further sanctions on the Belarusian authorities that would not affect the general population;


5.  Voices its concern about the weak and belated statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign and Security Policy on repression of the Polish national minority, and calls on Catherine Ashton to increase her involvement in monitoring developments in Belarus;


6.  Strongly condemns the decision by the Belarusian authorities to limit access to the internet;


7.  Reiterates its call for the Belarusian authorities to guarantee media freedom, freedom of association and assembly, freedom of religion for churches other than the Belarusian Orthodox Church, and other political rights and freedoms;


8.  Reiterates its call for the Council and Commission to grant financial support to TV Belsat and to urge the Belarusian Government to register the broadcaster officially in Belarus;


9.  Believes that free and fair elections are the cornerstone of democracy, and that until such elections are held in Belarus the Belarusian Parliament should not be considered legitimate by the European Union; reiterates its call for the Belarusian authorities to carry out a thorough reform of electoral legislation in line with OSCE/ODIHR recommendations, in order to ensure free, fair and transparent elections in the future; calls on the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign and Security Policy not to involve herself in any cooperation with members of the Belarusian Parliament until such elections have taken place, and to strengthen her relations with the Belarusian opposition and civil society;

10. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the parliaments and governments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Parliamentary Assemblies of the OSCE and the Council of Europe, the Secretariat of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Government of Belarus.


Texts adopted, P6_TA(2009)0212.

Last updated: 12 May 2010Legal notice