Belarus is the only European country excluded from the group of 47 countries forming the common European Higher Education Area. The Bologna Follow-up Group, which was given the task of assessing whether the Belarusian system of higher education was ready to be included in the pan-European structure, found that the principles and values of the Bologna Process, such as academic freedom, institutional autonomy and student participation in managing higher education, are not being upheld sufficiently in Belarus. Belarus’ entry to the Bologna structures, and consequently to the European Higher Education Area, was blocked during a meeting of EHEA ministers in April 2012. This decision will remain valid for the next three years.
In connection with the above, I would like to ask how the Commission intends to encourage the Belarusian authorities to modernise the higher education system so that Belarus can join the EHEA in the future.