Thursday, June 10, 2010
Commissioner Füle encourgaes full engagement with Belarus
Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle stressed that full engagement with Belarus within the framework of the Eastern Partnership is important to promote democracy and the rule of law in the country. He said this during the delegation meeting of Euronest Parliamentary Assembly which took place in the European Parliament on Thursday.
Füle gave an overview of the positive achievements of the Eastern Partnership during the past year, adding that Belarus was the most active country in terms of seeking funding from this project.
Referring to the bilateral relations with Belarus, he stressed that while Belarus will still be obliged to meet certain political conditions in line with other democratic country, the policy of isolation did not achieve any results and therefore supports the policy of rapprochement towards Belarus. He referred to the Action Plan as a means of finding a way of how the two sides can move forward towards deeper engagement.
Despite that the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Belarus has been frozen since 1998, the European Commission is committed to continue dialogue on the visa facilitation agreement and on European Investment Bank lending to Belarus amongst other issues.
Füle said that he will soon be visiting Belarus and stressed that free and fair election will be on top on his agenda during his talks with the authorities in Belarus.
EP Chair for Euronest Parliamentary Assembly Kristian Vigenin proposed to organise a high level conference to discuss a joint strategy towards Belarus.