The principal objectives of EU cooperation with Belarus are to support the needs of the population, to directly and indirectly support democratisation, and to mitigate the effects of the self-isolation of Belarus on its society.
The EU assistance to Belarus is currently limited, because the policies pursued by President Alexander Lukashenka's regime prevent the UE from offering a full participation in the neighbourhood policy.
Cooperation programmes 2007-2013
EU assistance in Belarus - priority areas:
- Support to civil society and independent media
- Regional development
A few examples of ongoing bilateral programmes:
- Energy policy: policy advice on electricity sector reforms, energy efficiency norms and standards and promotion of renewable energy
- Environment: support to the implementation of Belarus's environmental policies, pilot projects in the field of solid waste management, activities to promote grassroots initiatives involving NGOs, schools, universities, businesses, local and regional authorities
- Nuclear Safety: transfer of Western European regulatory methodology and practices to the relevant authorities in Belarus
- Food Safety: support to quality infrastructure in food safety and raise awareness on food safety requirements
- Education: providing scholarships for young Belarusians to study at European Universities
The European Union supports civil society and democratic aspirations of the Belarusian people. NGOs and other civil society organisations can benefit from various EU programmes such as European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR). The EU assistance to civil society was significantly strengthened following the post electoral crisis in 2010.
The already existing bilateral cooperation with Belarus contributes to the objectives of the Eastern Partnership. Belarus participates in the multilateral dimension of the Eastern Partnership with regional projects mainly in the areas of: cross border cooperation, environment, and education. Examples:
- Eastern Partnership Territorial Cooperation Support programme
- Eastern Partnership Integrated Border Management Flagship Surveillance Capacity project
- Eastern Partnership Integrated Border Management Flagship Customs project
- Total budget for 2007-2011: EUR 43.07 million
- Total budget for 2012-2013: EUR 38 million
For more details about the EU’s relations with Belarus and EU cooperation programmes, please visit the website of the Delegation of the European Union to Belarus.
More information about the Eastern Partnership is available on the page of the Eastern Partnership.