23 October 2018, Tuesday, 2:37
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MEPs Demand To Explain EU’s Policy With Regard To Belarus

14
ANNA FOTYGA

The absence of any reaction from the side of the EU to the violation of the freedom of speech in Belarus causes certain questions.

Head of the European Parliament’s Sub-Committee on Security and Defense Anna Fotyga and MEP Kosma Złotowski (both MEPs represent Poland) have filed an official inquiry to the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. Charter97.org offers the full text of the document for your attention:

- Recently, the amendments to the law on mass media, which provide a legal basis for unprecedented restrictions on freedom of speech and media freedom, have been drafted in Belarus. Moving in this direction, Lukashenka's government earlier blocked the website Charter97.org.

It should be noted that since the publication of new restrictions on media freedom and Internet freedom, official representatives of the European Commission, including the EU Commissioner for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Commissioner Johaness Hahn, have not announced either a formal statement or policy changes in connection with these complicated facts.

Moreover, they continue to regularly meet with the representatives of the Belarusian authorities. On June 1, Commissioner Hahn met with Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei. In addition, on June 21, he visited Belarus together with Commissioner Gabriel.

This lack of response from the EU and the European External Affairs Service towards the leadership of Belarus can be perceived as encouraging wider and wider attacks on independent media and on Internet freedom. Moreover, the propaganda of Lukashenka's regime is likely to interpret this situation as the tacit consent of the West to these pernicious restrictions.

1. Why does the European Commission choose a moderate approach to solving extremely important problems with democracy in Belarus?

2. How does the European Commission plan to combine the policy of interaction with Belarus on such issues as the digital market, with the fact that at present, as a country, it distances itself from the fundamental principles of democracy?