Procedure : 2011/2514(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0047/2011

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 19/01/2011 - 12
CRE 19/01/2011 - 12

Votes :

PV 20/01/2011 - 7.3
CRE 20/01/2011 - 7.3

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0044/2011

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

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

on the situation in Belarus

Kristiina Ojuland, Marietje Schaake, Leonidas Donskis, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy on behalf of the ALDE Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Belarus  

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Belarus, in particular that of 17 December 2009 on Belarus,

–   having regard to Council decision 2010/639/CFSP of 25 October 2010 concerning restrictive measures against certain officials of Belarus, extending both the restrictive measures and suspension until 31 October 2011,

–   having regard to the Conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council of 25 October 2010,

–   having regard to the Statement of the preliminary findings and conclusions on the presidential election in Belarus by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) as of 20 December 2010,

–   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 19-20 March 2009 and to the Joint Declaration issued at the Prague Eastern Partnership Summit of 7 May 2009,

–   having regard to the Commission statement of 21 November 2006 on the European Union’s readiness to renew its relationship with Belarus and its people within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP),

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

A. whereas Belarus is a European country and an important EU neighbour and its people have a strong European determination,

B.  whereas the Prague Declaration of the Eastern Partnership Summit reaffirms the commitments, inter alia of Belarus, to the principles of international law and to fundamental values, including democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms,

C. whereas the Council repeatedly called on the Belarusian authorities to ensure that the elections are conducted in line with international norms and standards for democratic elections and Belarus’s commitments to the OSCE and the UN,

D. whereas the Council stood prepared to further intensify relations with Belarus and go as far as to upgrade its contractual status if tangible progress in the respect for human rights and the rule of law were to be established in Belarus,

E.  whereas the Council in 2008 suspended the application of the restrictions on travelling to the EU of some Belarusian officials, including President Lukashenko,

F.  whereas according to the OSCE PA and OSCE/ODIHR preliminary findings and conclusions on the presidential election in Belarus, the elections failed to meet OSCE commitments,

G. whereas the police crackdown on the demonstration of 19 December 2010 and further measures taken by the law enforcement agencies against democratic opposition, free media and civil society activists were condemned by the President of the European Parliament, the EU High Representative and the UN General Secretary,

1.  Recognizes that the previous European Union policy of ‘rapprochement’ with Belarus has failed; re-iterates its profound shock over the post-electoral situation in Belarus and underlines that the shortcomings in the conduct of the poll and especially the post-election violence and detentions have now brought EU-Belarus relations to a crossroads;

2.  Considers that in the current circumstances the possible EU objectives for relations with Belarus should be elaborated in the framework of the need for regime change reflecting the vote of citizens in free and fair elections;

3.  In this context calls on the Belarusian authorities to develop a clear roadmap for democratic reform that would lead to a free and fair repeat of presidential elections with the assistance of the international institutions;

4.  Condemns the use of brutal force by the police and KGB services against the protesters on Election Day, in particular expresses its indignation over a brutal attack on Mr Niakliayeu, both examples of the severe violation of the basic democratic principles, such as freedom of assembly and freedom of expression, as well as of human rights;

5.  Condemns the Belarusian authorities for failing to provide unhindered access for the detainees to legal and most of all, medical assistance; insists that adequate medical attention and care be provided to the detainees who require immediate or long-term regular medical attention;

6.  Condemns the arrests and detentions of seven out of the nine alternative presidential candidates and over 700 protesters;

7.  Is concerned about the criminal proceedings being carried out by the Belarusian authorities against presidential candidates, leaders of the democratic opposition as well as great number of civil society activists, journalists, teachers and students; is particularly concerned by the attempts of Belarusian authorities to take into state custody Danil Sannikov, 3-year-old son of the Presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov, and Irina Khalip, an investigative journalist, who have both been in jail since the 19 December election;

8.  Demands an immediate and unconditional release of all those detained during Election Day and in its aftermath as well as the prisoner of conscience recognised by Amnesty International (Mikalay Autukhovich);

9.  Condemns the repressions and harassment of civil society activists which followed Election Day, including mass searches in private apartments, offices of the media outlets and the civil society organisations, expulsions from universities and workplaces;

10. Condemns the blockage of a number of major Internet websites, including networking channels and opposition websites, on Election Day in Belarus;

11. Regrets the decision of the Belarusian authorities to terminate the mandate of the OSCE Office in Minsk; invites the Belarusian authorities to reconsider this decision and ensure that their obligations towards the OSCE are respected;

12. Calls on the Council, the Commission and the EU High Representative to review EU policy towards Belarus; underlines that the orientation of the ENP and national assistance for Belarus should be redirected in order to ensure the appropriate support for civil society; reiterates the importance of the effective use of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights;

13. In this context calls on the Council, the Commission and the EU High Representative and Member States to support democracy in Belarus by a significant increase of financial aid for independent media and civil society organisations and to increase the number of scholarships for Belarusian students;

14. Welcomes the initiative to organise the ‘Solidarity with Belarus’ donors’ conference in Warsaw and Vilnius and expects the European Union to be a major contributor; underlines the need for specific support measures for people detained, their families and those facing repressive measures in Belarus;

15. Strongly urges the Commission to increase financial support to the European Humanities University (EHU) based in Vilnius, Lithuania, which is ready to accept students expelled from Belarusian universities following the violent crackdown after the presidential elections on 19-20 December 2010 in Belarus;

16. Calls on the European Commission to halt the ongoing cooperation and to withdraw its assistance provided to the state-owned media in Belarus;

17. Encourages the European Commission to take an initiative to analyse the possibilities for establishing a special support mechanism for an effective and direct financial and technical assistance for civil society, the independent media and democratic political organisations in Belarus; in this context calls on the Commission to develop a mechanism of registration of NGOs that are denied registration in Belarus for political reasons, in order to enable them to benefit from EU programmes;

18. Calls for the establishment of a pan-European Belarus Forum that would serve as a structure to promote democratic reform in Belarus and would include democratic opposition, NGOs, independent media and their interlocutors in the EU;

19. Calls on the Council, the Commission and the EU High Representative to immediately re‑apply the visa ban on the leading Belarusian authorities, expanding it to a list of people and their immediate families directly involved in 19 December repressions;

20. Calls on the Commission, the Council and the EU HR to suspend the high level visits, of Belarus’s participation in the Eastern Partnership and other EU programmes and freezing of the Joint Interim Plan;

21. Calls on the Council to consider introducing smart and targeted economic sanctions on Belarusian government owned companies until the unconditional liberation of all political prisoners;

22. Calls on the Commission, the Council and the EU HR to intensify work on the negotiations directives for visa facilitation and readmission agreements (excluding diplomatic passports) in order to enhance people-to-people contacts;

23. Expresses its opinion that sport events, like the World Ice Hockey Championships in 2014, should not be held in Belarus while there are political prisoners in this country;

24. Calls on the European Union partners to join efforts in creating the international commission for an objective and detailed investigation of the events of 19‑20 December 2010;

25. Regrets the move on the side of the Russian Federation in recognising the elections and description of the repression as an ‘internal affair’; recognises the potential role for Belarus’s neighbours and the European Union in normalising the situation and encouraging the immediate unconditional release of all political prisoners;

26. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the Member States, the President, Government and Parliament of Belarus and the Parliamentary Assemblies of the Council of Europe and the OSCE.

Last updated: 18 January 2011Legal notice