Motion for a resolution - B7-0178/2012Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in Belarus (2012/2581(RSP))


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

Véronique De Keyser, Libor Rouček, Justas Vincas Paleckis, Kristian Vigenin, Marek Siwiec on behalf of the S&D Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0178/2012

Procedure : 2012/2581(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
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European Parliament resolution on the situation in Belarus (2012/2581(RSP))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on Belarus, in particular those of 16 February 2012 and of 20 January 2011,

–   having regard to EP President Martin Schulz's statement of 28 February 2012 on the decision of the Belarusian authorities to expel the ambassadors of the EU and of Poland,

–   having regard to the Council conclusions on Belarus, 3149th Foreign Affairs Council meeting, Brussels, 27 February 2012,

–   having regard to the conclusions of the European Council of 1-2 March 2012,

–   having regard to the statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on the decision of the Belarusian authorities to recall the EU Head of Delegation and Polish Ambassador to Minsk, Brussels, 28 February 2012,

–   having regard to the Declaration on the situation in Belarus, adopted on the occasion of the Eastern Partnership Summit, Warsaw, 30 September 2011,

–   having regard to the joint statement of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Visegrad Group, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Prague, 5 March 2012,

–   having regard to the statement of the Belarusian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, Minsk, 2 March 2012,

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

A. whereas on 23 January 2012 the Council of the European Union adopted a decision broadening the criteria of applying sanctions to Belarusian individuals and entities involved in serious human rights violations and repressions or benefiting from the Belarusian regime;

B.  whereas on 27 February 2012 underlining the further deterioration of the situation in Belarus the EU Foreign Ministers decided to add 21 Belarusian officials, responsible for repression of civil society and the democratic opposition, to the list of people subject to the assets freeze and visa ban;

C. whereas as a reaction to the new EU sanctions the Belarusian Foreign Ministry asked the Head of the EU Delegation in Minsk and the Ambassador of Poland to Belarus to leave the country;

D. whereas on 28 February 2012 as a result of the Belarusian authorities' statement and in expression of solidarity and unity the EU Member States agreed to withdraw all their ambassadors for consultations to the respective capitals;

E.  whereas large numbers of representatives of the Belarusian democratic opposition and civil society activists, including former presidential candidates, as well as prominent human rights defenders, remain in prison on political grounds;

F.  whereas on 24 February 2012 a district judge in Vitsyebsk sentenced the opposition activist Syarhey Kavalenka to two years and one month in a low security correctional institution on a charge of violating probation rules; whereas Kavalenka was arrested on 19 December 2011 - on the anniversary of the flawed presidential election;

G. whereas Belarusian authorities violate Article 30 of the Belarusian constitution and limit the right of free movement of their citizens; whereas on 1 March 2012 the Belarusian Prosecutor-General's Office announced that Belarusians who backed new foreign sanctions against Belarus could be barred from travelling abroad; whereas three opposition leaders and activists - Anatol Lyabedzka, Alyaksandr Dabravolski, and Viktar Karnyayenka - as well as human rights defender Valyantsin Stefanovich were not allowed to cross the Belarusian-Lithuanian border between March 7 and 11;

H. whereas on 11 March 2012 the governments of Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation made a joint statement criticising the intention of the EU to impose economic sanctions against Belarus which could pose a threat to the Customs Union of the three countries;

1.  Continues to strongly condemn the deteriorating situation with human rights and fundamental freedoms combined with the lack of deep democratic and economic reforms in Belarus and will further continue to oppose the repressions of the regime opponents in Minsk;

2.  Calls for the immediate and unconditional release and rehabilitation of all political prisoners in Belarus;

3.  Deeply regrets the recent decision of the Belarusian authorities to expel the Head of the EU Delegation in Minsk and the ambassador of Poland in Belarus as a counterproductive and disproportionate action, which only deepens the increasing self-isolation of Belarus;

4.  Urges Belarus to take steps showing its goodwill and allowing re-establishment of normal diplomatic relations between Belarus and the EU and its Member States;

5.  Welcomes the decision of the Council to extend the list of those responsible for serious human rights violations, the repression of civil society and the democratic opposition or supporting or benefiting from the Belarusian regime to be targeted by a travel ban and an asset freeze;

6.  Stresses that the EU did not apply economic sanctions towards Belarus and does not aim at hurting the Belarusian people;

7.  Stresses that the gradual re-engagement of the EU with Belarus and the renewal of the political dialogue with the official Minsk for the benefit of the citizens of Belarus is possible if Belarus will show its willingness to move towards adoption of all international standards of democracy, human rights, civil liberties and the rule of law;

8.  Reiterates the European Union's commitment to strengthening its engagement with the Belarusian civil society and to supporting the democratic aspirations of the Belarusian people;

9.  Strongly encourages the democratic activities of the Belarusian civil society and of the non-governmental organisations;

10. Urges the Belarusian authorities to respond constructively to the invitation to the negotiations on visa liberalisation;

11. Calls on the Eastern Partnership countries to urge Belarus to return to normal political relations with the EU;

12. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the Parliaments and Governments of the Member States, the Parliamentary Assemblies of the OSCE and the Council of Europe, and the Parliament and Government of Belarus.