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Ulad Vialichka: National Platform may become a party of currently bilateral Belarus-EU talks

26.10.2016  |  Society   |  Piotr Kuchta,  EuroBelarus
Ulad Vialichka: National Platform may become a party of currently bilateral Belarus-EU talks

At any rate, geopolitical and economic factors are pushing the negotiators to expand the communication; there is a certain request for the participation of NGOs as well.

Speaking of the results of the Belarusian National Platform conference on the topic "Belarus in the post-electoral phase: expectations and plans", Ulad Vialichka, the co-chair of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, Director General of the International Consortium "EuroBelarus" underlines that the main aim of the event was to define the characteristic features of the current situation primarily for ourselves, just before the EaP CSF Annual Assembly, which will be held this November in Brussels.

"Let me remind you that Europe was waiting for the outcome of the parliamentary elections in Belarus to determine the further dialogue and cooperation format. Therefore, the conference, in addition to the organizational issues, aimed at creating a vision of the present situation, understanding opinions about it, evaluating both the European parties and the Belarusian authorities. Everything to, in our turn, build scenarios of possible development of the situation and to determine the possible role of the Belarusian civil society in it, - noted in EuroBelarus Information Service comments Ulad Vialichka. - As a result of discussion, the experts concluded that Belarus-EU relations exist today in a negotiating mode, that is, there is no clear set of objectives, criteria, requirements and starting points, which would be regarded as absolute. Thus all the actions taken by the negotiators are viewed as a test or something reversible".

At the same time, Ulad Vialichka reminds, that the Belarus-EU relations are currently governed with a treaty signed back in 1989 by the USSR and the European Economic Community: "The parties still have a huge load of work, the relations need to have legal regulations as well".

As for the civil society, Ulad Vialichka noted that "over the last year the attempts to engage some civil society representatives in the Belarus-EU dialogue became more active, or they tried to demonstrate this process at least". "And these attempts are made by both Europe and the Belarusian authorities. Therefore, the civil society organizations will try to find their place in this yet "floating" structure. There are still only two negotiators - the EU and the Belarusian government, but the regional context at hand, the economic factor and a range of other circumstances are pushing the EU and the Belarusian government to expand communication and to involve independent entities in it. The National Platform could become such a party ", - believes Ulad Vialichka. “This is the peculiarity of the moment. We cannot expect a radical breakthrough, but some progress in several issues of interest to both parties is possible", - he added.

During the Conference elections of a new leadership group of the National Platform were held. The Coordinating Committee has about 50% new members. "The Conference recognizes the attempt of Sviatlana Karaliova, the head of the Coordinating Committee of the Belarusian National Platform, to start a process of structural reform as important and successful. But the reform failed to become full-fledged, figuratively speaking, we are somewhere in the middle of the road, so the conference issued the second year-long mandate by Karaliova", - said Ulad Vialichka.

In the near future, as noted by the co-chair of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, the Belarusian National Platform will announce the resolution on political persecution in Belarus. "We are talking about the trials of members of the “Critical Mass” movement, the trial of Eduard Palchys, the ban on entering Belarus for Elena Tonkacheva, human rights activist, who has been  in actual for two years", - Ulad Vialichka explained.

The conference of the Belarusian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum was attended by about 50 representatives of various non-governmental organizations.

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