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The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Since 2014, the European Parliament and European Commission have been calling on Member States not to grant citizenship in return for investment in the country concerned. Following the invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, these calls have intensified, with Member States now being urged to withdraw such citizenship when it has been granted to Russian or Belarusian nationals who are on the sanctions list or support the invasion.

The economic performance of Belarus has been unimpressive ever since the fall of the Soviet Union, due mainly to the country’s lack of serious structural reforms. This study examines the consequences of this benign neglect should a democratic transition occur and attempts to understand the assistance that may be required to help Belarus successfully transform. Unlike the transformations which began in Central Europe during 1989, though, Belarus’ potential transition is complicated by immense Russian ...

Media environment in Belarus

Briefing 10-02-2022

The media situation in Belarus has never been easy. With Aliaksandr Lukashenka being elected president of the country for the first time in 1994, the necessary reforms to provide media freedom have never materialised. Instead, over the years various laws have lessened the rights of independent journalists and imposed limits on both traditional and electronic media. Following the August 2020 presidential election, which ignited a brutal crackdown against the democratic opposition, the situation has ...

This in-depth analysis examines the nature and scope of enduring and emerging threats to the security of the EU and its Member States, and the challenges to its Eastern Partnership policy, from both the EaP’s protracted conflicts and instability in Belarus. It assesses the EU’s engagement with these conflicts and addresses the potential role of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), including (but not solely) missions and operations. Finally, it explores potential avenues for future co¬operation ...

Russia’s military build-up along its border with Ukraine, and its masterminding – alleged by many politicians and analysts – of the refugee crisis on the borders of Belarus with Poland and Lithuania, have sparked concerns over the implications of Moscow’s aggressive foreign policy. Russia has amassed nearly 100 000 troops near the Ukrainian border, provoking renewed fears that Moscow is about to invade, seven years after it annexed the Crimean peninsula and destabilised the eastern regions of Ukraine ...

On 1 December 2021, the Commission proposed a Council decision on emergency measures to help Latvia, Lithuania and Poland face the complex migratory situation at their respective borders with Belarus. The measures provide for an extension of the registration period for asylum applications; the application of the border asylum procedure to process all asylum claims; reception conditions covering only basic needs; and simplified and quicker national return procedures for rejected asylum-seekers. The ...

Over the summer and autumn of 2021, in what is increasingly viewed as a hybrid warfare tactic aimed at destabilising Europe, Aliaksandr Lukashenka's Belarussian regime has instrumentalised migrants, manipulating the organisation of flights from the Middle East to Minsk and deliberately orchestrating migrants' onward travel to the EU-Belarus border. With weather conditions endangering migrants' lives, the situation has also led to serious humanitarian consequences. This activity – which many argue ...

Following the forced landing of a Ryanair flight by Belarusian authorities on 23 May, Belarus became the central topic on the first day of the special European Council meeting of 24-25 May 2021. EU leaders strongly condemned the 'unprecedented and unacceptable incident', and were united in imposing further sanctions on Belarus. As regards Russia, the European Council reconfirmed the five principles guiding the EU's policy since 2016 and asked the High Representative and the European Commission to ...

At a time when authoritarianism is rising, the Sakharov Prize draws attention to the situation of those who resist the repression of human rights and fundamental freedoms. This year, the prize is to be awarded to the democratic opposition in Belarus, represented by the Coordination Council. It rewards its courageous and peaceful role in opposing the falsification of the August 2020 elections, despite a brutal crackdown by the authorities. The Sakharov Prize will be presented in a ceremony during ...