News BlogEU diplomacy

The EU will continue to support the Belarusian opposition…

(BRUSSELS2) The meeting of the COPS ambassadors, in the middle of August, was essentially symbolic: to mark the support of the 27 for Sweden in its standoff with Belarus and the disapproval of the policy of Belarusian government. The 27 thus endorsed the previous declarations of the High Representative of the EU and expressed their “ serious concern about the decision taken by Belarus » to expel Swedish diplomats (read: Between Belarus and Sweden, the rag burns). They also affirmed that they did not intend to renounce support for promoting democracy in the former Soviet republic and supporting the Belarusian opposition.

Belarusian ambassadors summoned

The measures taken by Belarus impact » the conditions for political dialogue between the EU and Belarus; the restriction of political contacts with Belarus remains on the agenda and will be “ subject to the necessary attention ". The ambassadors of Belarus in the various member states as well as to the European Union should therefore be summoned in order to protest against this attitude and deliver the European message. The EU will thus take into account in its update of the restrictive measures against the Lukashenko regime – planned by October 31, 2012, the “ situation arising from the current diplomatic crisis caused by Belarus in addition to internal developments in Belarus — the ongoing crackdown on civil society, the fate of political prisoners, and the holding of upcoming parliamentary elections.

Support for the opposition

The European Union remains attached to certain “values, such as “ democracy, human rights and the rule of law” and the Europeans affirmed their desire to “continue and broaden their engagement and support for civil society and democratic actors in Belarus ". A formula which is not just about style… We remember that it was in fact the dropping of teddy bears – on a “private” Swedish initiative – which aroused the ire of Minsk against Sweden. The European Commission and the diplomatic service (EEAS) are therefore invited to work on the subject and to propose to the 27 ambassadors of the COPS “ concrete measures as soon as possible ».

The very relative effect of sanctions on the situation of political prisoners

The 27 also expressed their “ dismay that none of the other political prisoners have been released as part of the recent amnesty. They stay " deeply concerned ” by the conditions of detention of political prisoners and call “ one more time " upon their release "immediate" and their " complete » rehabilitation.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).