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Call for an inclusive national political process in Belarus

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 15130 | 01 September 2020

Signatories:
Dame Cheryl GILLAN, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Ms Bela BACH, Germany, SOC ; Mr Duncan BAKER, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Ms Theodora BAKOYANNIS, Greece, EPP/CD ; Lord Richard BALFE, United Kingdom, NR ; Ms Doris BARNETT, Germany, SOC ; Lord David BLENCATHRA, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Ms Maryvonne BLONDIN, France, SOC ; Ms Margreet De BOER, Netherlands, SOC ; Mr Koloman BRENNER, Hungary, NR ; Mr Chris BRYANT, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Ahmet Ünal ÇEVİKÖZ, Turkey, SOC ; Mr Anastasios CHATZIVASILEIOU, Greece, EPP/CD ; Mr Róbert DUDÁS, Hungary, NR ; Mr Yunus EMRE, Turkey, SOC ; Ms Edite ESTRELA, Portugal, SOC ; Mr Piero FASSINO, Italy, SOC ; Lord George FOULKES, United Kingdom, SOC ; Sir Roger GALE, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Mr Simonas GENTVILAS, Lithuania, ALDE ; Lord Leslie GRIFFITHS, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Antonio GUTIÉRREZ, Spain, SOC ; Mr Thomas HAMMARBERG, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Jürgen HARDT, Germany, EPP/CD ; Ms Gyde JENSEN, Germany, ALDE ; Mr Josip JURATOVIC, Germany, SOC ; Ms Marietta KARAMANLI, France, SOC ; Mr Kimmo KILJUNEN, Finland, SOC ; Mr Tiny KOX, Netherlands, UEL ; Ms Stephanie KRISPER, Austria, ALDE ; Mr Ian LIDDELL-GRAINGER, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Mr Tony LLOYD, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Saša MAGAZINOVIĆ, Bosnia and Herzegovina, SOC ; Mr Jacques MAIRE, France, ALDE ; Mr Oleksandr MEREZHKO, Ukraine, SOC ; Mr Zsolt NÉMETH, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Mr Andreas NICK, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr Aleksander POCIEJ, Poland, EPP/CD ; Mr Roberto RAMPI, Italy, SOC ; Ms Selin SAYEK BÖKE, Turkey, SOC ; Mr Axel SCHÄFER, Germany, SOC ; Ms Ingjerd SCHOU, Norway, EPP/CD ; Mr Frank SCHWABE, Germany, SOC ; Mr Krzysztof ŚMISZEK, Poland, SOC ; Mr Andrzej SZEJNA, Poland, SOC ; Ms Nicole TRISSE, France, ALDE ; Mr André VALLINI, France, SOC ; Mr Markus WIECHEL, Sweden, EC/DA ; Ms Martine WONNER, France, ALDE ; Ms Yelyzaveta YASKO, Ukraine, EPP/CD

The Parliamentary Assembly has been following the situation in Belarus since 1992 when the Belarus National Assembly was granted special guest status. Due to a lack of democratic progress, this status was suspended in 1997 and the accession process, initiated in 1993, was subsequently frozen. However, the Assembly kept the doors for dialogue open.

While pursuing such dialogue with representatives of the Belarusian National Assembly, opposition forces and civil society alike, the Assembly has repeatedly expressed strong concerns about the lack of fundamental freedoms, including media freedom, human rights violations, the situation of political prisoners and lack of a level playing field in the electoral process, and has resolutely condemned the continued use of capital punishment.

The events that have unfolded following the presidential election of 9 August 2020, including the disproportionate use of force and widespread detentions of peaceful protesters, confirm the need for substantial reforms to bring Belarus’s legislation, institutions and practices in line with international democratic and human rights standards.

The Assembly recalls that the Organisation’s objective remains the rapprochement and accession of Belarus to the Council of Europe on the basis of its values and principles. The Council of Europe has the standards and co-operation tools to achieve this objective, including through its Venice Commission to which Belarus is an associate member.

The Assembly therefore resolves to continue to follow closely the situation in Belarus and reaffirms its readiness to engage in an inclusive and constructive dialogue with the Belarusian authorities, all political stakeholders and civil society, with a view to supporting – both politically and in terms of expertise – a peaceful and democratic national political process in the country leading to fundamental reforms, starting with the Constitution, and paving the way for ultimately integrating Belarus into the European family where it belongs.

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