Tuesday 21 May 2024 | 00:29

Opinion: Minsk anticipates offsetting CEI advantages against EAP disadvantages

28.06.2016  |  Politics
Opinion: Minsk anticipates offsetting CEI advantages against EAP disadvantages dw.de

Minsk regards its participation in the Central European Initiative, a European initiative with similar priorities to the Eastern Partnership, as unlikely to make the Kremlin nervous.

The Belarusian government hopes to strengthen the CEI role in the Eastern European region and, possibly, intercept some areas of cooperation from the Eastern Partnership. Minsk aspires for the absence of a negative reaction from the Kremlin to its stepped up participation in the CEI.

On June 16th, 2016, the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Central European Initiative unanimously voted for Belarus’ chair in 2017.

Belarus is a party to the Central European Initiative since 1996. This sub-regional association includes 18 members - 9 EU member states, 6 Balkan and 3 post-Soviet states. The CEI main objective is to promote European integration and rapprochement between the EU and other European countries, non-EU members. To date, The CEI mainly focused on the Balkans.

During the annual meeting of the CEI Foreign Ministers, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei met with Foreign Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina Igor Crnadak, Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria Sebastian Kurz, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Moldova Lilian Darius and CEI Secretary General Giovanni Caracciolo di Vietri.

Belarus declares its interest in deepening practical cooperation with the CEI member states in the field of energy and the environment, sustainable development, science and technology.

After the launch of the Eastern Partnership initiative by the European Union in 2009, Minsk promoted closer cooperation between the CEI and the Eastern Partnership, due to some matching priorities of these initiatives. In addition, some states - Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine - are members of both initiatives - the CEI and the EAP.

Minsk expects a mild reaction from the Kremlin to the participation in the Central European Initiative of the post-Soviet states, including Belarus. The Kremlin has been neutral towards the CEI, in contrast to random criticism of the EAP. For instance, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg once again emphasised Russia’s negative attitude to the EU policy towards the post-Soviet states: "... [The] Eastern Partnership is also ... not entirely harmless. I know that there were attempts to transform the Eastern Partnership into a constructive process, but nonetheless, intentions to do something in opposition to Russia have prevailed. Being friends with our neighbours in opposition to us”.

Earlier in Minsk after a meeting with the head of the Council of the Republic of Belarus Mikhail Myasnikovich, Speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko has criticized the Eastern Partnership and emphasised that this regional ‘intermediary’ was useless.

The CEI includes not only the post-Soviet states, but also a larger number of Balkan countries, which changes the focus of the Kremlin and provides fewer reasons for criticism for the pro-Kremlin media.

On its side, Minsk hopes for fewer political conditions for cooperation within the CEI. Unlike the CEI, the EAP initiators initially focused on the issues of democracy and human rights, and preconditioned deeper pragmatic cooperation with the progress in these areas.

Minsk will seek to bolster its activities within the CEI in order to compensate for the shortcomings from cooperation within the EAP framework and smooth out the Kremlin’s reaction to European initiatives.

Solidarity with Belarus Information Office

Other news section «Politics»

Andrei Yahorau — Al Jazeera: “Lukashenko is irresponsible”
Andrei Yahorau — Al Jazeera: “Lukashenko is irresponsible”
He said Belarus would likely face economic tightening not only as a result of the coronavirus pandemic but also a Russian trade oil crisis that worsened this past winter.
Shhh! Belarus Wants You to Think It’s Turning Over a New Leaf
Shhh! Belarus Wants You to Think It’s Turning Over a New Leaf
Minsk’s muddled media clampdown could jeopardize warming of relations with the West.
Statement of the BNP in connection with the wave of searches in the editorial offices of the Belarus
Statement of the BNP in connection with the wave of searches in the editorial offices of the Belarus
The Belarusan National Platform of the EaP CSF issued a statement in connection with the wave of searches in the editorial offices of the Belarusan media and the detention of journalists.
Statement of the Belarusan EaP CSF National Platform on solidarity with the civil society of Armenia
Statement of the Belarusan EaP CSF National Platform on solidarity with the civil society of Armenia
The Belarusan National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum issued a statement on solidarity with the civil society of Armenia.
"Vilnius Consultations": Key points and recommendations on the future of EU Eastern Partnership
"Vilnius Consultations": Key points and recommendations on the future of EU Eastern Partnership
On September 11, the inaugural „Vilnius Consultations“ conference was organized by Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis and Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
From farewell to a new Eastern policy and towards a new development
From farewell to a new Eastern policy and towards a new development
Poland and Germany were both initiators and drivers of a New Eastern policy linked to the Eastern neighborhood and Russia/Soviet Union.
Uladzimir Matskevich: The sooner the "Union State" is denounced, the better for Belarus
Uladzimir Matskevich: The sooner the "Union State" is denounced, the better for Belarus
Not only does the "Union State" undermine the establishment of civilized relations with Europe, but it hinders the possibility of normal relations between Belarus and Russia.
Uladzimir Matskevich: The regime can no longer control the situation in the country
Uladzimir Matskevich: The regime can no longer control the situation in the country
The authorities are unable to prolong the social contract with the people: there is no way out of the social crisis.
Press release in connection with the dialogue in the format of the EU-Belarus Coordination Group
Press release in connection with the dialogue in the format of the EU-Belarus Coordination Group
Belarusan National Platform of the EaP CSF welcomes the dialogue process in the format of the EU-Belarus Coordination Group, the third round of which was held in Minsk on 3-4 April 2017.
Statement of the BNP in connection with the events of March 25-26, 2017 in Minsk and other Belarusan
Statement of the BNP in connection with the events of March 25-26, 2017 in Minsk and other Belarusan
Belarusan National Platform of the EaP CSF issued a statement in connection with the events of March 25-26, 2017 in Minsk and other Belarusan cities.
Statement by the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on mass repressions in Belarus
Statement by the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on mass repressions in Belarus
The EaP CSF Steering Committee issued a statement on repressions against civil society activists and journalists in Belarus, in view of the demonstrations planned on 25 March 2017.
Uladzimir Matskevich: Belarus-Ukraine relations need to be re-established
Uladzimir Matskevich: Belarus-Ukraine relations need to be re-established
"Case of Zhadan" demonstrated that Belarus does not actually have a clear policy - neither domestic nor foreign.
Belarus
Belarus's Lukashenko alleges “fifth column” plot as unrest continues
Belarusan President Lukashenko said on Tuesday a “fifth column” was plotting to overthrow him with the help of foreign-backed fighters, days before a planned street protest in Minsk against a new tax.
In Belarus, a rising fear: Will we be the next Ukraine?
In Belarus, a rising fear: Will we be the next Ukraine?
The relationship between Russia and Belarus has never been an easy one.
Andrei Yahorau: European window of opportunity is slowly closing, relations take form of fatigue
Andrei Yahorau: European window of opportunity is slowly closing, relations take form of fatigue
The Belarusian regime is not able to pursue a truly multi-vector policy, and the EU cannot decide what it needs in the region on the whole and from Belarus in particular.
Uladzimir Matskevich: Today Belarus is in a very difficult situation
Uladzimir Matskevich: Today Belarus is in a very difficult situation
But even under the circumstances the authorities have various ways out.
Uladzimir Matskevich: Lukashenka does not disrupt Russian plans to annex Belarus
Uladzimir Matskevich: Lukashenka does not disrupt Russian plans to annex Belarus
But Lukashenka is afraid for his fate and position - he needs Belarus to be sovereign to fully exercise his power.
Andrei Yeliseyeu: Russia is taking drastic unconstructive steps  
Andrei Yeliseyeu: Russia is taking drastic unconstructive steps  
There should be no actual passport control for the Belarusians arriving in Russia within the framework of the existing Belarusian-Russian agreements.
Uladzimir Matskevich: Visa-free regime is not a political concession to the West
Uladzimir Matskevich: Visa-free regime is not a political concession to the West
It is a process of normalization of Belarus-EU relations. Belarus just fulfils its international commitments.
Andrei Yahorau: Belarusian regime is self-improving, the only threat so far is the economy crisis
Andrei Yahorau: Belarusian regime is self-improving, the only threat so far is the economy crisis
Political analyst emphasizes that Belarus is the first modern authoritarianism in the European space, a phenomenon not yet studied by anyone.
Gintautas Mažeikis: The relation of political field and arena in the framework of information war

In his report, philosopher Gintautas Mažeikis discusses several concepts that have been a part of the European social and philosophical thought for quite a time.

“It is our big joint work”

It is impossible to change life in cities just in three years (the timeline of the “Agenda 50” campaign implementation). But changing the structure of relationships in local communities is possible.

Shhh! Belarus Wants You to Think It’s Turning Over a New Leaf

Minsk’s muddled media clampdown could jeopardize warming of relations with the West.

Mikhail Matskevich: How to create a local agenda and make it a problem solving tool

To achieve changes, you need to be interested in them and stop pinning all hopes on the state.