The European Union has shown an unwavering commitment to the Belarusian people since the falsification of the 2020 presidential elections, and throughout the unprecedented crackdown on civilians and free society by the authorities. The EU has recalibrated its assistance fully away from the central authorities, progressively imposed restrictive measures against the Lukashenka regime, and increased its support for the Belarusian people and civil society. EU assistance is benefitting ordinary citizens directly, by reinforcing civic initiatives and independent media, facilitating youth mobility and scholarships, supporting local economic development initiatives and SMEs, and responding to urgent health needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
RECOVERY. RESILIENCE. REFORM
More than 800 entrepreneurs have received hands-on business support and advice through the EU4Business initiative, creating close to 6,000 new jobs in 2020 alone.
EU support has helped to improve energy efficiency in schools and homes, improving the living conditions of 10,000 citizens and reducing electricity bills in 10 municipalities.
The EU has put in place scholarship and professional exchange programmes, allowing students and professionals affected by the political crisis to study abroad or online.
ECONOMIC SUPPORT TO A DEMOCRATIC BELARUS
The EU has outlined a €3 billion comprehensive plan of economic support for a future democratic Belarus. In the event of a democratic transition, this investment programme will help stabilise the Belarusian economy, unlock growth potential and create jobs. This plan is a clear signal of the EU’s long-term commitment to the sovereignty and prosperity of the Belarusian people. To deliver tangible results to a future democratic Belarus and ensure sustainable impact, the EU would stand ready to support five key flagships:
- Supporting an innovative and competitive economy
- Improving transport connectivity and facilitating trade
- Boosting innovation and the digital transformation
- Supporting a green Belarus – energy efficiency, waste management, and infrastructures
- Investing in a democratic, transparent, and accountable Belarus
In partnership with the World Health Organisation, the EU has delivered 2.4 million surgical masks, 1.2 million medical gloves, 1 million respirators, 20,000 rapid COVID tests, and more to the Belarusian people. The EU is also supporting preparedness for the rollout of safe and effective vaccines in Belarus, because no one is safe until everyone is safe.
UNITED EU RESPONSE TO REPRESSION
The EU’s united response to ongoing repression against the Belarusian people can be summarised by three S’s: Support, Solidarity, and Sanctions.
The EU has substantially stepped up its support to the people of Belarus to assist victims of repression, iThe European Commission will mobilise an additional €30 million assistance package to complement and expand existing EU support to the people of Belarus. The additional EU package will focus on support to youth, independent media, small and medium-size enterprises in exile, and culture. It would bring overall EU assistance since August 2020 to close to €65 million.
The EU supports the right of the Belarusian people to choose their own future, and will continue to speak with one loud voice in support of their democratic aspirations. The EU also stands ready to invest up to €3 billion in Belarus after a future democratic transition.
The EU has imposed a series of sanctions against individuals and entities linked to the Lukashenka regime for the continued supression of human rights and the instrumentalisation of migrants. Imposing sanctions sends a clear message to those targeted that violating human rights and international norms comes at a cost, and that those responsible for repression will be held accountable.
European Commission: ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/belarus l twitter.com/eu_near
European External Action Service: eeas.europa.eu/delegations/belarus l twitter.com/eu_eeas