Motion for a resolution - B8-0872/2015Motion for a resolution

    MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in Belarus

    8.9.2015 - (2015/2834(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 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

    Charles Tannock, Mark Demesmaeker, Kazimierz Michał Ujazdowski, Marek Jurek, Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, Beata Gosiewska, Ryszard Czarnecki, Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Angel Dzhambazki on behalf of the ECR Group

    See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0866/2015

    Procedure : 2015/2834(RSP)
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    European Parliament resolution on the situation in Belarus


    The European Parliament,

    –       having regard to its previous resolutions and recommendations on Belarus,

    –       having regard to the Eastern Partnership summit held in Riga in May 2015 and to its declaration,

    –       having regard to the release of six political prisoners by the Belarusian authorities on 22 August 2015,

    –       having regard to the upcoming presidential elections, due to take place on 11 October 2015,

    –       having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

    A.     whereas, despite a noticeable degree of openness on the part of the Belarusian authorities to engaging in contact and dialogue with the EU, violations of human rights persist in Belarus, including intimidation of human rights defenders, police raids on human rights organisations and seizure of their equipment, and forceful removals from Belarus;

    B.     whereas the first official visit of Parliament’s Delegation for relations with Belarus since 2002 took place in Minsk on 18 and 19 June 2015;

    C.     whereas progress has been made in cooperation on some sectoral policies such as higher education, vocational training, the digital market, the energy sector, food safety and culture; whereas the EU must make sure, however, that its resources are not used to suppress civil society organisations, human rights defenders, freelance journalists and opposition leaders;

    D.     whereas Belarusian electoral law still falls short of internationally recognised standards, giving an enormous advantage to the incumbent president;

    E.     whereas the Belarusian authorities have finally released all six political prisoners after years of denying their existence;

    F.     whereas Belarus played an important role in facilitating agreement on the ceasefire in Ukraine;

    G.     whereas the conflict in Ukraine has deepened fears in Belarusian society of a destabilisation of the internal situation as a result of a power change;

    1.      Remains deeply concerned by the human rights and fundamental freedoms situation in Belarus, as well as by the shortcomings observed during previous elections by independent international observers and the active persecution of the opposition leaders after the elections;

    2.      Welcomes the recent release of the remaining political prisoners; calls on the Belarusian Government to rehabilitate the released political prisoners and to fully restore their civil and political rights; stresses, however, that similar steps in the past were rather token gestures and neither contributed to improving the situation of Belarusian society nor improved relations with the EU;

    3.      Stresses the need for Belarus to conduct the upcoming presidential elections in accordance with internationally recognised standards and to give the opposition unfettered access to all government-controlled means of communication and allow it to participate in the elections on an equal footing;

    4.      Expects the authorities to stop the harassment of independent media for political reasons; urges a stop to the practice of administrative prosecution and the arbitrary use of Article 22.9, Part 2, of the Administrative Code against freelance journalists for working with foreign media without accreditation, which restrict the right to freedom of expression and the dissemination of information;

    5.      Stresses the need to support all independent sources of information for Belarusian society, including media broadcasting in the Belarusian language from abroad;

    6.      Draws attention to the situation of national minorities in the country and their cultural organisations, whose leaders have at times been replaced by those preferred by the state authorities, thus violating one of the basic human freedoms: freedom of association;

    7.      Calls on the Belarusian authorities to ensure, in all circumstances, respect for democratic principles, human rights and fundamental freedoms, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Belarus;

    8.      Supports the Commission in its policy of ‘critical engagement’ with the Belarusian authorities; recalls, however, that the EU must not contribute by its actions and resources to worsening the situation of the opposition and civil society;

    9.      Reiterates its call on the Commission to support, with financial and political means, the efforts of Belarusian civil society, independent media and non-governmental organisations in Belarus to support the democratic aspirations of the Belarusian people;

    10.    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 (HR/VP), the EEAS, the Council, the Commission and the Member States.