Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Paleckis: There is no future for Belarus outside Europe

The discussions reviewed the post election situation and the European roadmap for Belarus.

Said Justas Paleckis, rapporteur on Belarus, vice-chair of the Delegation for Relations with Belarus and organiser of the seminar:

"We encourage Belarus to take further and bolder steps towards democracy, respect for human rights and rule of law, with a view of normalisation of relations between the EU and this country.

"Polls show that the majority of Belarusians favour integration into the EU rather than into the East. The European Union should welcome the strengthening of Belorusian relations towards both West and East. It is because of such connections to both sides that this country, situated in the centre of Europe, could become even more valuable to the EU.

"Concerning Belarus's direction and place in Europe: there is no future for Belarus outside Europe".

Kristian Vigenin, S&D Foreign Affairs Committee's coordinator, reminded that last year, the European Union approved the Eastern Partnership initiative, extending it to Belarus.

This has been one of Europe's gestures towards the country, reacting to a series of signals hinting at a possible readjustment in the Belarusian foreign policy.

Said Mr. Vigenin, who is also EURONEST chair:

" Further development in the EU- Belarus relations must be subject to a strict conditionality.

The EU should organise a conference with the participation of both the Belarusian authorities and the opposition to discuss the possibilities of creating a new legal basis on which EU-Belarusian relations can be based.

"The aim of our fact-finding mission to Minsk, last February, was to discuss the possibility of Belarus's participation in the EURONEST parliamentary assembly. The delegation looked also inter alia at human rights and ethnic minorities' issues in Belarus in the light of the EP debate".

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