Belarusians courageously demand democratic change. The EU must stand by them
For weeks, people in Belarus have taken to the streets to protest the fraudulent Presidential elections and the wave of repression that followed. Last Sunday, once again the massive demonstrations were asking for the departure of Lukashenko. During our EU Foreign Ministers meeting we underlined our full support: the future of Belarus must be decided by the people of Belarus and them alone.
Before our Foreign Affairs Council, we had an informal breakfast with Ms Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, one of the key leaders of the Belarusian pro-democracy Coordination Council.
Tsikhanouskaya was the principal opponent of Aleksandr Lukashenko in the Presidential Elections of 9 August. To a certain extent, she is an “accidental” hero. She ran instead of her husband, a well-known blogger who was jailed in May 2020. She was the only true opposition figure allowed to take part in the elections, following the exclusion on technical grounds of the former Deputy Foreign Minister Tsepkalo and the former head of Belgazprom-bank Babariko. Lukashenko miscalculated, thinking that a 37-year old woman, a former teacher and a housewife would not pose a challenge. Together with the wife of Tsepkalo and head of Babriko’s campaign Maryja Kaliesnikava, the female trio managed to mobilise the Belarusian population to vote against Lukashenko.
Following the election, Tsikhanouskaya has been forced to leave the country on 11 August and remains in exile in Lithuania since then. It was important to hear her assessment of the latest developments, including on the prospects for an inclusive national dialogue and how the EU can support this and the people of Belarus in their fight for democracy.
Latest News from
Commission disburses €17 billion under SURE to Italy, Spain and Poland27/10/2020 16:10:00
The European Commission has disbursed a total of €17 billion to Italy, Spain and Poland in the first instalment of financial support to Member States under the SURE instrument.
Boeing WTO case: the EU gets formal green light to impose duties on U.S. imports27/10/2020 15:25:00
The Dispute Settlement Body of World Trade Organization (WTO) yesterday formally authorised the EU to take countermeasures against the United States.
EU-African Union relations: joint communiqué of the AU Peace and Security Council and the EU Political and Security Committee27/10/2020 14:10:00
On 26 October 2020, the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (AU PSC) and the European Union (EU) Political and Security Committee (EU PSC) held their 12th Annual Joint Consultative Meeting, virtually, as part of their regular dialogue within the framework of Article 17 of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, and the AU – EU partnership. The meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Ambassador Osama Abdelkhalek, Permanent Representative of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the AU and Chairperson of the AUPSC for October 2020 and H.E. Ambassador Sofie From- Emmesberger, Permanent Chair of the EU PSC.
Coming up: budget 2021, Covid-19 measures, Gender Equality Week27/10/2020 13:25:00
This week MEPs will decide on their priorities for the 2021 budget, consider how the pandemic has affected fundamental values and hold the first European Gender Equality Week.
EU consumers should enjoy a “right to repair” and enhanced product safety27/10/2020 12:38:00
The Internal Market Committee proposed a series of measures to strengthen consumer protection and enhance product safety and sustainability.
The EU supports nutrition and social protection in Malawi with €39 million27/10/2020 11:33:00
As part of Team Europe's response to COVID-19 in Malawi, the European Union has allocated €39 million to mitigate the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Refugee camps on the Greek islands: situation and challenges27/10/2020 10:38:00
The situation on the Greek islands following the destruction of the Moria refugee camp will be the focus of a debate in the Civil Liberties Committee this afternoon.
A greener, fairer, and more robust EU farm policy27/10/2020 09:25:00
The EU’s future farm policy should be more flexible, sustainable, and crisis-resilient, so that farmers can continue to deliver food security across the EU.
European climate law: Council reaches agreement on large parts of the proposal26/10/2020 15:25:00
The Council recently (23 October 2020) reached agreement on a partial general approach on the proposed European climate law.