Thursday 17 January 2019 | 17:58

Belarusan National Platform: Successes backgrounded by a crisis

29.06.2015  |  Society   |  EuroBelarus Information Service,  
Belarusan National Platform: Successes backgrounded by a crisis photo by "EuroBelarus" Information Service

“Belarus’ civil society: challenges of standstill and governmentalisation of the third sector”. The conference under such name took place in Minsk on June 15.

When opening the Report-and-Election conference of the Belarusan National Platform (BNP) of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF), Oksana Shelest, a member of the Coordinating Board of the National Platform noted that this event is considerably different from the similar forums that took place earlier, and first of all, because of the situation that the National Platform is in. Oksana Shelest described it as a dichotomy, i.e. a division. On the one hand, the Eastern Partnership region is facing a crisis, and Belarus is experiencing standstill. On the other hand, we see the start of the dialog between Belarus and Europe, though there is no place for that in the civil society. As Oksana Shelest believes, the conference will help to find out how one can oppose these challenges.

Andrei Yahorau, chair of the Coordinating Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, national coordinator of the EaP CSF for Belarus, the co-chair of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, and the Director of the Center for European Transformation, talked about the problems and challenges more specifically.

He recalled that the crisis processes in the National Platform have already been voiced at the last conference and at a certain stage Andrei Yahorau himself has suggested to freeze the work of the Belarusan National Platform. However, in the period of 2014-2015 Belarusan National Platform achieved a number of successes. In particular, it is by initiative of the Belarusan National Platform that the partial reformation of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society took place – for example, curtailment of the members of the working committee of the EaP CSF, which increased the efficiency of its work. Besides, offers of Belarusans were included in the final variant of the EaP SCF Strategy – the leading document of the Forum.

But at the same time Andrei Yahorau emphasized that the reforms of the CSF haven’t still ended and this year, probably, the issues of election of the representatives of the national platforms of the Eastern Partnership countries will have to be moved to the Forum’s agenda.

However, the main success of the Belarusan National Platform reached together with the Public Bologna Committee, according to Andrei Yahorau, is the inclusion of Belarus’ to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). “It testifies to about the potential of the National Platform”, - expressed his conviction Andrei Yahorau.

However, apart from successes there were also problems. At the national level, BNP to a large degree depends on the legitimization of its work, in particular, the one related to the position of the EU Delegation to Belarus. But as Andrei Yahorau noted, after 2011 the relations between the National Platform and EU representation to Belarus have been quite limited. Situation started improving in 2014, when contacts with the EU delegation in Minsk started improving, a number of meetings with the diplomats and foreign guests were held; however, all that doesn’t speak about the significant progress either. “If earlier they didn’t speak with us, now they do. But that are only talks”, - described the situation Andrei Yahorau. According to him, this communication doesn’t promote the institutialization of the National Platform.

In result, admits the head of the Belarusan National Platform, today this structure basically doesn’t influence any of the spheres in Belarus; it is basically unable to oppose the information influence of Russia, and hardly promotes the idea of democratization and observation of human rights.

“We have to state that today we are very far from starting the realization of the National Platform’s mission in the form we saw it when we founded it”, - noted Andrei Yahorau. At the same time, Belarusan National Platform still needs to be preserved so that to not get from the realization of those ideas even further.

Other news section «Society»

“Agenda 50” in Belarus: from strategies to implementation
“Agenda 50” in Belarus: from strategies to implementation
Representatives of the campaign “Agenda 50” from five pilot cities discussed achievements in creating local agendas for implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
In Stoubcy, a local action plan for the implementation of the Convention was signed
In Stoubcy, a local action plan for the implementation of the Convention was signed
It is noteworthy that out of the five pilot cities, Stoubcy was the last to join the campaign “Agenda 50”, but the first one to complete the preparation of the local agenda.
The monitoring of accessibility was presented in Stolin
The monitoring of accessibility was presented in Stolin
On May 28, the city hosted a presentation of the results of the project "Equal to Equal" which was dedicated to monitoring the barrier-free environment in the city.
“They think if the legs don’t function, neither functions the head.”
“They think if the legs don’t function, neither functions the head.”
In Babruysk, wheelchair users are fighting discrimination.
The real work of the Convention depends on all interested communities and organizations
The real work of the Convention depends on all interested communities and organizations
What results has the campaign "Agenda 50" given, what helps to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the regions?
The Convention is a fight against fears, barriers and stigmata
The Convention is a fight against fears, barriers and stigmata
Experts in Valožyn have determined that the quality of people’s life depends on their awareness.
The Convention should become a "living tool”, rather than remaining just an ordinary document
The Convention should become a "living tool”, rather than remaining just an ordinary document
On March 3, members of the campaign "Agenda 50" from different Belarusian cities met in Minsk. The campaign is aimed at the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The main thing is one’s personal motivation for full active life (PHOTOS)
The main thing is one’s personal motivation for full active life (PHOTOS)
There are being implemented three projects under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities campaign in the city of Babruysk.
One man does not make a team, but united we are able to do a lot
One man does not make a team, but united we are able to do a lot
In Ščučyn, people with disabilities learned to be leaders and to advocate their interests.
Barrier-free environment – it is not a ramp, but a means of independence (PHOTOS)
Barrier-free environment – it is not a ramp, but a means of independence (PHOTOS)
In Stolin, social organizations and local authorities are implementing a project aimed at independent living of persons with disabilities, and creating local agenda for the district.
Polish experts: We say “equality” and you say “inclusion”
Polish experts: We say “equality” and you say “inclusion”
Will creation of local agendas be an effective tool in ensuring rights of persons with disabilities in Belarus, just as it was in Poland?
“It is impossible to talk about persons with disabilities separately from the rest of the country”
“It is impossible to talk about persons with disabilities separately from the rest of the country”
The understanding that all people have equal rights has been the basis for social changes, including those related to disability issues, in Poland.
Andrei Yahorau: Everything depends on people in the regions
Andrei Yahorau: Everything depends on people in the regions
A social project "Equal to Equal" has been launched in Stolin district under the campaign "Agenda 50".
“Agenda 50": the problems can be solved only by solidarity and equal treatment
“Agenda 50": the problems can be solved only by solidarity and equal treatment
Five Belarusian cities are open to the campaign launched there to translate into practice the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Statement of the BNP in connection with the prosecution of the Belarusan independent trade unions
Statement of the BNP in connection with the prosecution of the Belarusan independent trade unions
The Belarusan National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum issued a statement in connection with the criminal prosecution of the leaders of the Belarusan independent trade unions.
Sofia Sadovskaya: Parents do not understand why one needs contemporary Belarusan art
Sofia Sadovskaya: Parents do not understand why one needs contemporary Belarusan art
For the last five years, the Children's Creative Workshops (CCW) acquaints children with fine arts in a game form.
Larysa Bycko: Heritage can only be preserved together
Larysa Bycko: Heritage can only be preserved together
Many people came to the premiere of the play "Memory Shelter" to the village of Stuly in the Pruzany Rajon [District].
Zmicier Surski - We should pay tribute to the Belarusan poster
Zmicier Surski - We should pay tribute to the Belarusan poster
In 1991, poster artists from the Soviet Union sent 120 posters to the triennale in Japanese Tayama.
Oksana Gaiko - Our audio guide of Brest is a monument to Holocaust victims
Oksana Gaiko - Our audio guide of Brest is a monument to Holocaust victims
The center of Brest can now be studied with the help of an audio guide called Brest Stories Guide - however, meanwhile, only one of the city pages - anti-Semitism and the Holocaust.
To preserve heritage and to become valuable for each other
To preserve heritage and to become valuable for each other
On June, 16th, in the Minsk-based creative space CECH, the results of the work of the international program "CHOICE - Cultural Heritage - Opportunity for Civic Engagement" were presented.
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.

"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.

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.

The real work of the Convention depends on all interested communities and organizations

What results has the campaign "Agenda 50" given, what helps to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the regions?