Is EMU dominated by political rather than economic factors?

Report
The EU’s neighbourhood policy –
Belarus
KATARZYNA PISARSKA
POLISH FORUM OF YOUNG DIPLOMATS
Genshagen, 25-30 September 2005
Agenda
EU Relations with Ukraine and Belarus
1. Belarus – some basic facts
2. Historical overview of bilateral
relations
3. Belarus and the European
Neighborhood Policy
4. Future Priorities
BELARUS –some facts
•
Until 1991 a constituent republic of the USSR
•
Attained its independence in 1991
•
Retained very close political and economic
ties to Russia
•
December 1999 - Belarus and Russia sign a
treaty on a two-state union envisioning
greater political and economic integration
•
Since the election in July 1995 of country’s
first president, Alexander LUKASHENKO
Belarus remains Europe’s last dictatorship
BELARUS –some facts
•
•
•
•
•
Population: 10,300,448
Ethnic groups: Belarusian 81.2%,
Russian 11.4%, Polish 3.9%,
Ukrainian 2.4%, other 1.1% (1999
census)
Eastern Orthodox 80%, other 20%
GDP – 6,4% (2004)
GDP – per capita: $6,800 (2004)
•
Official unemployment – 2%
•
Import partners: Russia 50%,
Germany 13.3%, Ukraine 4.3%,
Poland 4.2% (2004)
Historical overview
EU Relations with Belarus before ENP
 1991 – Recognision of Belarus as an independent state by
the EC
 1995 – Negotiations on the Partnership and Cooperation
Agreement (PCA) are completed
 1996 – progress in bilateral relations stalled as a
consequence of serious setbacks to the development of
democracy in Belarus
 1997 – the EU Council of Ministers decided that:
 the EC will conclude neither the interim agreement nor
the PCA
 bilateral ministerial contacts between the EU and Belarus
will be suspended
 implementation of TACIS will be halted (except in the
case of humanitarian aid or regional projects)
Historical overview
EU Relations with Belarus before ENP
 1999 – EU adopts a „stick and carrot” approach toward
Belarus. Sanctions are to be lifted only if the country
fulfills 4 OSCE benchmarks:




Substantial powers to the Parliament are returned
Opposition is represented in electoral commissions
Fair access to state media for opposition is granted
Electoral legislation conforms to international standarts
 2000/2001 – EU with OSCE monitor parliamentary and
presidential elections. None fulfilled democratic standarts
 The situation concerning human rights and fundamental
freedom continues to deteriorate in 2003-2005
The European Neighbourhood Policy
BELARUS WITHIN THE ENP:
 Initially Belarus was interested in ENP, suggesting even specific
areas for cooperation
 In early 2004 the EU confirmed that Belarus has the opportunity to be
an active partner of the EU in the framework of the European Neighbourhood
Policy
 The anti-democratic developments (2004 parliamentary elections)
have made it impossible for Belarus to benefit from the ENP
 The November 2004 Council Conclusions confirmed 1997 diplomatic
sanctions and underlined that future progress in bilateral relations
depends on democratic developments in Belarus
The institutional framework
EU Relations with Belarus today
VERY LIMITED BILATERAL
COOPERATION:
• No PCA or an Interim Agreement
• Limited TACIS assistance
• No bilateral ministerial contacts
• No ENP Action Plan for Belarus
• Implementation of democratisation
programmes continues in close
collaboration with the Council of
Europe and the OSCE (Assistance
and Monitoring Group)
The Latest Developments
The 2005 EU ACTIONS TOWARDS BELARUS :
• In January the European Commission initiates three events
on EU assistance to democratization and civil society in
Belarus
• In August Commissioner or External Affairs Benita FerreroWaldner rebukes Belarus for its attempts to terrorize the country’s
Polish minority
•
The European Commission grants a €138,000 contract to Deutsche
Welle radio station to broadcast to the former Soviet state starting
from November
Future perspectives
EU Relations with Belarus
WHAT SHOULD BE DONE:
•
EU must formulate a long-term strategy towards Belarus aimed at the
democratization of the country and against the regime
•
EU must prepare new tactics and cooperate directly with the nongovernmental actors
•
Funds must be directed towards building a civil society (i.e. European
Democracy Fund)
•
There must be a greater level of coordination between the EU and the US
(Belarus Democracy Act)
•
The policy over Belarus can be discussed with Russia but NOT negotiated
with it
•
Integration of Belarus into the EU should remain an open question (50% of
Belarusians support closer cooperation with the EU!)
Future perspectives
EU Relations with Belarus
Few practical steps possible:
• Visa bans for all regime’s high officials, judges, police officers etc.
• Liberalization of visa regime for ordinary Belarusian citizens
• Identifying and blocking the weapon export from Belarus
• Etablishing student exchange programs for Belarus independently
from state administration
• EU planned mass media support for Belarus
• Establishing EU’s permanent representation in Minsk and appointing
EU’s Special Representative for Belarus
THANK YOU...
...and don’t forget about Belarus!
KATARZYNA PISARSKA
kpisarska@diplomacy.pl

similar documents