Full text 
Verbatim report of proceedings
Wednesday, 5 April 2006 - Strasbourg OJ edition

2. Welcome

  President. I would like to begin today’s sitting by welcoming Mr Alexander Milinkevich, democratic opposition leader and Belorussian presidential candidate, most warmly, on my own behalf and on behalf of all of the Members of the European Parliament.


Mr Milinkevich, as leader of the unified opposition, you had the courage to stand for the presidential elections held recently in Belarus, which were seen by our Parliament as in no way democratic. The European Parliament admires your courage and the perseverance that you showed both during and after the election campaign, and would like to express its full solidarity with you, your fellow countrymen and your country.

Europe will not be fully democratic until Belarus is a free country.


You may rest assured that the European Parliament will continue to support human rights and democracy in your country.

You can see that certain Members of Parliament are wearing scarves bearing colours intended to express this support visually and I must tell you that, thanks to the reform that we promoted recently and which is now in force, the President can allow the presence of these external symbols. Under the previous Rules of Procedure, the President would have had to demand that they be removed. We should therefore be pleased with the reform of the Rules of Procedure and you will note that sometimes the Presidency’s initiatives are positive.

Legal notice - Privacy policy