Office for a Democratic Belarus: where Belarus and Brussels meet.

An Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) Election Task Force, made up of election and civil society experts from Eastern Partnership and EU countries, was launched in Yerevan at the occasion of Armenia’s presidential elections on 18 February. The purpose of the Task Force during its visit to Armenia was to learn in-depth about the observation activities of the Armenian National Platform of the Civil Society Forum, and to assist the latter in the presentation and dissemination of its findings and conclusions.
Over the course of a week, the CSF Election Task Force, composed of eight individuals from Belarus, Georgia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Austria and the UK, advised local CSOs in their observation of the electoral process and exchanged best practices. Task Force experts held meetings with a range of political parties, civil society organisations, media and representatives of the diplomatic community in Yerevan, as well in the regions.

News from Belarus

1 Mar 2013 - 13:18

Businessmen of Belgium and the Netherlands are set to visit Belarus on 11-15 March, BelTA learnt from the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The program of the visit envisages a business matchmaking session where representatives of Belarusian companies will have an opportunity to hold talks with Belgian and Dutch businessmen.

1 Mar 2013 - 11:36

By Yauheni Preiherman

The Belarusian military forces rarely fall in the spotlight of public discussions. Like in other post-Soviet countries, this institution mainly lives behind closed doors. Army generals normally try to escape contacts with the media and their critics in the non-governmental sector. As a result, the lack of official information results in numerous myths and popular rumours about the state of the military. However, open data suggests that the army in Belarus is far from being a monster. Its size has gone down nearly fourfold since 1991 and military expenditures look modest by international standards. Also, crime levels in the army have been minimised. At the same time the Belarusian military forces are becoming increasingly vulnerable to demographic, technological, financial and geopolitical challenges. Even army generals start talking about the need for a reform.

28 Feb 2013 - 19:46

Belarus and Bangladesh are mulling to set up a joint venture to manufacture dairy products using Belarusian raw materials in Bangladesh, following the recent visit of the Asian country by a Belarus government delegation. The issue has already been discussed with the Bangladesh Milk producers' Co-operative Union (Milk Vita), which accounts for almost 70% of the country's dairy products output. In January 2013, a Belarus government delegation led by Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich visited Bangladesh and agreed to offer technical assistance and outfit dairy farms and modular milk-processing factories with Belarusian equipment. Subsequently, potential partners from Bangladesh, including Fialka director Ashiq Imran, visited the Meat and Dairy Industry Institute, the Slutsk cheese factory and dairy factory in Minsk in February.

28 Feb 2013 - 19:41

Art is literally money for Belarusian artist Ihar Arynich.
For several years, Arinich has used Soviet-era banknotes to create artistic images. One work he is particularly proud of is a replica of a painting by early 20th-century Russian artist Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, which took half a year and about 3,000 banknotes to make.

28 Feb 2013 - 11:43

The "Tell the Truth!" movement plans to participate in the 2014 local elections and put forward up to 1000 candidates, the movement's deputy chairman, Andrey Dzmitryyew, told reporters Wednesday in Minsk. "Our task is to 'capture' local soviets and make sure that local authorities stop ignoring people's opinions," he said. Mr. Dzmitryyew noted that the movement's activists had visited at least 100,000 apartments during the 2012 parliamentary elections. What people want most of all is economic reform to make their families more secure and just treatment from authorities, he said.

Syndicate content

International news on Belarus

1 Mar 2013 - 12:39

The Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) has suggested that the Minsk Office of the BCCI and the Oslo Chamber of Commerce and Industry sign a cooperation agreement. This issue was discussed during a meeting between the BCCI Chairman Mikhail Myatlikov and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Norway to Ukraine and Belarus Jon Elvedal Fredriksen, BelTA learned from the BCCI. The Ambassador informed the Belarusian side on the inclusion of the Republic of Belarus as of 1 January 2013, together with a number of other states, to the Norway Generalized System of Preferences which provides its beneficiaries a preferential access to the Norwegian market. In this respect, Mikhail Myatlikov suggested that the Minsk Office of the BCCI and the Oslo Chamber of Commerce and Industry should sign an agreement on cooperation in order to further develop economic relations between the two countries.

1 Mar 2013 - 12:32

The Prosecutor General's Office of Kyrgyzstan has appealed to the Prosecutor General's Office of Belarus to extradite former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and his brother Zhanybek Bakiyev from Belarus to serve their recently imposed prison sentences. On February 26, the Bishkek garrison's military court notified the Prosecutor General's Office of Kyrgyzstan that the sentences against the Bakiyev brothers took effect four days earlier, according to the Office's press center.

1 Mar 2013 - 11:31

Many of the 40,000 tractors made each year by Belarus currently end up in Russia, but the company is keen to sell more tractors in Western Europe, and after an absence of 15 years is back on the French market. The company’s range currently peaks with the 212hp MTS 2022.5, a tractor which hides a Minsk-made six-cylinder Stage 3b SCR engine.

28 Feb 2013 - 12:00

Belarusian Consul General Ihar Bely had a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, on Tuesday with Kyrylo Tretiak, secretary general of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC). The talks took place within the framework of the 20th session of the Parliamentary Assembly, according to the press office of the Belarusian foreign ministry. Messrs. Bely and Tretiak discussed ways of increasing cooperation between parliaments and the possibility of the Assembly and the parliaments of the observer countries holding joint events on a regular basis, the press office said.

26 Feb 2013 - 18:58

The defense ministry of Lithuania has called on Belarus and Russia to be more open regarding Zapad 2013 (West 2013), a large-scale Belarusian-Russian military exercise to be held in September, BelaPAN said. As a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Lithuania has been informed through the OSCE about preparations for Zapad 2013, a spokesperson for the Lithuanian defense ministry was quoted as saying by the Baltic News Service (BNS). However, Lithuania would like Belarus and Russia to be more open about the exercise and suggests inviting NATO representatives to observe it, the spokesperson said.

Syndicate content

Policy Briefs

1 Mar 2013 - 11:36

By Yauheni Preiherman

The Belarusian military forces rarely fall in the spotlight of public discussions. Like in other post-Soviet countries, this institution mainly lives behind closed doors. Army generals normally try to escape contacts with the media and their critics in the non-governmental sector. As a result, the lack of official information results in numerous myths and popular rumours about the state of the military. However, open data suggests that the army in Belarus is far from being a monster. Its size has gone down nearly fourfold since 1991 and military expenditures look modest by international standards. Also, crime levels in the army have been minimised. At the same time the Belarusian military forces are becoming increasingly vulnerable to demographic, technological, financial and geopolitical challenges. Even army generals start talking about the need for a reform.

20 Feb 2013 - 10:59

By Vadzim Smok

Official interpretation of history in Belarus experienced dramatic evolution since USSR collapse.  At first stage Belarusian national-oriented approach dominated in historiography. After Lukashenka came to power in 1994, a setback to the Soviet narrative took place, which, however, included a number of additional elements.
On the one hand, Lukashenka’s narrative reconciled with national version of history on pre-Soviet period. They both agree that Belarusian statehood has a long tradition of independent existence and presents a value for all Belarusians. On the other hand, many aspects of the Soviet period remain a taboo or cannot be criticised. The period of independence (since early 1990s) remains most ideologically loaded and distorted, as it involves the rule of Lukashenka himself.

18 Feb 2013 - 14:20

By Darya Firsava

Last year net foreign direct investments into the real sector of Belarusian economy dropped by 75 per cent compared to 2011, according to recently release figures of the Belarusian Statistics Committee. The pretext for sentimental patriots to moan is another reason for state authorities to rack their brains. They have eased tax burden, extended territories with privileged regimes, and achieved impressive results in the World Bank's Doing Business ranking. But investors ignore the country with qualified, quite cheap and hard-working employees with opens access to the Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan Customs Union with its market of 170 mln people.  Big foreign businesses may secure unique privileges and cordial greeting, but then expose themselves to significant risks. Small enterprises risk less, but are to go through all thickets of Belarusian bureaucracy, which is often unbearable even for local dwellers. Bad image in the Western media and political unpredictability also add to investors' unwillingness to invest.

14 Feb 2013 - 11:28

Andrei Yeliseyeu

In response to the country's unprecedented reforms, the European Commission has recently proposed to reinstate EU's preferential trade for Myanmar. When this happens, Belarus will remain the only country deprived of EU trade preferences system because of labour rights violations. With historical changes taken place in Myanmar for the last two years, Belarus occupies discreditable ratings previously held by the South-East Asian country. The EU's Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) is a preferential trade regime that provide tariff preferences when selling on the EU market. The GSP scheme can be suspended, however, for serious violations of core human rights or labour rights conventions.

13 Feb 2013 - 12:03
 

Although the effects of 1990s devaluation have been properly examined in the literature, the effect of the 2011 deserves more attention. A recent study of Kateryna Bornukova of the Belarusian Research and Outreach Cente 'The Impact of the 2011 Devaluation on Real Income of Belarusians' fills this gap.  The paper shows that a fall in income and spending of all social groups in Belarus rapidly decreased the level of well-being of the Belarusian society. The state tried to cushion the crisis effects but their policies had a very limited effect. Mechanism of index of prices appeared to protect the poorest social groups in Belarus from the currency crisis effects. However, the group of pensioners seemed to be the most harmed by the politics of the state.
 
Syndicate content
Alexa Certified Site Stats for democraticbelarus.eu