From 2015 to 2017, the European Union and the Council of Europe have been conducting three country-specific projects in Belarus. The results of these projects with a total budget of 200,000 Euros have been presented to media in Minsk today.
Belarus has also participated in the 14 regional initiatives covering all Eastern Partnership countries. The projects are funded by the EU, and implemented by the Council of Europe.
Among the key results of the country-specific projects conducted are the following:
In co-operation with the Belarusian authorities, legal experts and representatives of national minorities selected the measures to protect traditionally used national minority languages in Belarus as a part of the country’s cultural heritage. Awareness-raising activities were conducted with a view to encourage parents to enroll their children in schools teaching minority languages. The project’s key goal was to help the authorities to examine legal scenarios for the country’s possible accession to the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages.
The project on good governance contributed to better assessment of risks of money laundering and financing of terrorism, as well as to improved investigation into economic crime. Prosecutors, investigators and officials from 17 public sector institutions have learned how to implement corruption risk assessment more effectively. The law enforcement bodies were trained on how to implement the recently introduced administrative sanctions related to liability of legal entities in corruption cases.
Belarusian legal professionals and law enforcement officers, as well as students of law and international relations have gained knowledge of the European system of human rights protection, including the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. Distance-learning courses are to be introduced at the Belarusian State University under the European Programme for Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals.
In April 2014, the European Union and the Council of Europe agreed to implement targeted co-operation activities with EU’s Eastern Partnership countries to bring them closer to the European standards in the fields of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The Eastern Partnership encompasses six countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus. All of them, apart from Belarus, are member states of the Council of Europe.