Human rights in Belarus: The EU’s role since 2016

Author (Corporate)
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Series Details June 2018
Publication Date June 2018
ISBN 978-92-846-2979-4
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This study provided an overview of the European Union’s contribution to promoting and protecting human rights in Belarus since 2016. This analysis presented the main human rights trends in Belarus, examining legislation, policy commitments and violations of human rights.

While the Belarusian government had made nominal concessions towards the EU, no systemic progress in terms of human rights had been made in the post-2016 period. The study also described and assessed the EU’s human rights promotion activities in bilateral EU-Belarus relations, within the context of the Eastern Partnership multilateral dimension and in regard to financial assistance.

Although the EU had expanded the range of its political dialogue with Belarus since 2016, it had had very little influence over the human rights situation in the country. The EU’s impact had been limited not just because of the very nature of the Belarusian regime. EU institutions and member states have increasingly prioritised geopolitical interests as well as the stability and resilience of Belarus over human rights concerns.

The EU should increase efforts to mainstream human rights in all aspects of its relations with Belarus and find a better balance between ‘normalisation’ and ‘conditionality’ based policy approaches vis-à-vis the country.

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