European Parliament has adopted draft recommendation on EU policy towards Belarus
The proposals listed in the document are addressed to the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Service. Justas Paleckis acted as the rapporteur of the document.
The European Parliament addresses its recommendations to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the Commission (HR/VP), the EEAS, the Council, the Commission and the Member States. According to the paper, they should “reiterate the need for the unconditional and immediate release and rehabilitation of the political and civic rights of all remaining political prisoners to be a prerequisite for a gradual lifting of EU restrictive measures and for a substantial upgrade in EU-Belarus relations”.
The paper covers a variety of problems, issuing prescriptions that deal with political dialogue, economic and energy cooperation, border management and civil society and people-to-people contacts.
Thus, the document suggests “promote further regional cooperation including through Eastern Partnership initiatives with Belarus, in particular in terms of trade, energy, environment and transportation”.
One of the problems listed is the facilitation of visa system. European Parliament calls on “the Belarusian authorities to start negotiations with the EU on visa facilitation and readmission agreements with the long-term view of a visa-free regime to promote people-to-people contacts and take urgent measures on implementing local border traffic agreements with Poland and Lithuania”.
A lot of attention is attached to the European Dialogue on Modernisation. The EP desires to “encourage the authorities to fully participate in the Dialogue on Modernisation aimed at developing a competitive economy, a pluralistic society and the rule of law”, as well as “encourage civil society and the political opposition to increase their involvement in this Dialogue and further support it through enhanced financial assistance and expertise”.
You can download the full text of the rapport here.