19 January 2018, Friday, 22:21

The EU insists on simplifying the visa regime with Belarus


The EU invited Belarus to start the negotiations over the visa facilitation process and reconsideration of the agreements with the aim of simplifying the travel to the European Union for Belarusian citizens.

It is said in the letter from Stefal Fule’s office, who is the European Commissioner for enlargement and Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy. The letter is a response to the appeal by the head of the organizational committee of the public educational association “Social democrats for a dialogue and consolidation” Anatol Liaukovich. It listed the main ideas of the “For a dialogue and consolidation” strategy, BelaPAN reports.

According to the EU’s representative, the facilitation of the visa process is supposed to contribute to the contacts between the citizens of Belarus and the European Union. “Because of the lack of response from the Belarusian authorities the EU member states are currently using the existing flexibility, which the EU visa allows for. It provides a possibility to ease the issue of visas for the citizens. We are working hard with the member states in the issues for long term periods and residence permits according to national legislations”, - the letter says.

The EU’s representative agreed with Liaukovich on the fact that for the future of Belarus “it is necessary to build a strong pluralistic line in politics, to keep all the communication channels open and involve all the parties in a constructive dialogue”. “Those are exactly the people of Belarus who can modernize their country through the involvement into the democratic process”, - the letter says.

The EU’s representative has also expressed a hope that the Belarusian authorities will soon join the Dialogue on Modernization with Belarus.  Fule started the dialogue with the Belarusian society at the end of March 2012 It involves the exchange of opinions between the representatives of the Belarusian civil society and political opposition of the one hand, and the EU- on the other. Particularly the reform necessary for the modernization of Belarus and the development of the relations with the EU are discussed.  

“The agenda is suggested by the representative of the Belarusian society, considering the needs of the citizens of Belarus. The dialogue causes a wide response with the Belarusian media and we hope that this contributes to more fruitful discussions in Minsk and at the regional levels”, - the letter says.