No common position on Belarus at the EP summit

The second day of Eastern Partnership (EP) summit in Warsaw ended with no common position on Belarus. Only the EU member states signed under a declaration. – A generous support for modernization of Belarus is possible, but this support – possibly amounting to billions of euros – is possible only if we have a democratic partner. – said the Polish prime minister Donald Tusk. Belarusian delegation rejected the invitation to participate in the summit.

A special ambition of Poland as a host of the summit was to „prepare an aid package for modernization of democratic Belarus“ – said the prime minister during a press conference. Releasing all political prisoners, talks with the opposition and holding democratic elections compliant with the OSCE standards are the conditions making the aid package available.

Such package should contain a variety of supporting tools, which would encourage entire Belarus, including current authorities, to democratize and introduce economic reforms. That for example would be grants, international credits, investment incentives, easing visa requirements, and stabilizing Belarusian currency.

– Poland, as an initiator of the Eastern Partnership and organizer of the second EP summit, express its confidence that this summit and the entire EP program brings better results. It is a program for common stable Europe. –the head of Polish government stressed. He also added that he is convinced that EP is driven by a common interest of the EU and other participating countries. A path to full economic integration was opened for the EP states. Also, details of waving visa requirements for those interested were discussed, informed Mr. Tusk.

Joint Declaration of the EP

„The participants of the Warsaw Summit acknowledge the European aspirations and the European choice of some partners and their commitment to build deep and sustainable democracy“ – it was stated in a joint declaration of the EU countries and 5 EP countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. (Belarus refused to participate in the summit).

„The Eastern Partnership is based on a community of values and principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law. All countries participating in the Eastern Partnership are committed to these values through the relevant international instruments. Any European Union Member State is also committed to them through the Treaty on European Union.“ – further notes the declaration.

The declaration referred to the five non-EU states as „Eastern European countries“, which signifies efforts of Polish presidency to include prospects of full membership in the EU for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. This was reached as a compromise with the western states reluctant to make any far-reaching promises.

Human rights violations in Belarus

„The Heads of State and Government and representatives of the EU and its member states express their deep concern at the deteriorating human rights, democracy and rule of law situation in Belarus, deplore the continuing deterioration of media freedom in Belarus and call for the immediate release and rehabilitation of all political prisoners, an end to the repression of civil society and media and the start of a political dialogue with the opposition.“ – it was stated in a separate declaration on Belarus, signed only by the EU countries.

The EU countries addressed in the declarations situation of the political prisoners, reminding that the European Union „has consistently offered to deepen its relations with Belarus“, should the authorities in Minsk show their commitment to democracy, rule of law and human rights.

Democratization as necessary condition

Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, agreed with the Polish prime minister, adding that the EU cannot „re-engage fully with Belarus without clear progress towards democratization and respect for human rights.“

That would require „the immediate release and rehabilitation of all political prisoners and the engagement in a genuine political dialogue with the opposition“, said the EC President.


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