Three theses from the Eastern Partnership civil society for Johannes Khan
01.07.2015 |Society| EuroBelarus Information Service,
Andrei Yahorau, co-chair of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, told about the closed part of the informal summit in Minsk.
Differentiation of EU approaches to different Eastern Partnership countries should be the key principle of the initiative, stated the Belarus Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei, while opening the session of the 5th round of informal ministerial EaP dialog in Minsk on June 29.
Andrei Yahorau, co-chair of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, held a speech at the meeting after it switched to a closed format. After his speech the political scientist told about the three theses that his statement consisted of.
First of all, Andrei Yahorau compared the announced differentiation of European neighborhood policy (of which EaP is a part) with a “supermarket”, where the EU has given the countries-partners a possibility to independently determine the level and priorities of their cooperation with the EU.
“We need to understand what this supermarket is selling, what this policy offers, and what’s its price. From our point of view, it should be transformation according to European model”, - said Andrei Yahorau.
He also noted that other interested parties – business, civil society, local authorities – should have “a legitimate entrance to this supermarket, to the European neighborhood policy”.
The second point of the Civil Society Forum position voiced by Andrei Yahorau was the thesis about the need to suggest the prospect of membership in the EU as a logical step in development of the Eastern Partnership.
“Third is the role of the civil society and situation with it. A part of the governments limits the freedom of association; there are repressions and political prisoners. I told that we face that in Belarus in Armenia. I expressed the concern of the Civil Society Forum with suppression of protests in Armenia”, - said Yahorau.
Let us note that at the concluding press conference in the evening of June 29 Johannes Khan recalled the meeting with the leaders of the Belarusan civil society when he spoke about the problem of political prisoners:
“We are fully aware of this situation. Today it was discussed at the meeting with the representatives of the Belarusan civil society. This problem affects the relations between the EU and Belarus. But I’m sure that in the light of the recent events a certain progress is possible in the future”.