IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Conference of the EaP CSF Belarusian National Platform Took Place in Minsk
2 December 2015
On 30 November the Belarusian National Platform (BNP) of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum held a two-day conference under the title "Development of the National Platform: new challenges, new strategies". The event brought together representatives of Belarusian civil society to draft the strategy of the Platform for 2016-2018, the final version of which will be presented in February 2016.
The event was opened by Svetlana Koroleva, Chairperson of the Coordinating Committee of the Belarusian National Platform, who spoke about the work of the Committee and underlined the importance of the strategic plan. Newly elected National Coordinator of the Platform Ulad Vialichka addressed the conference to present his own vision of the priorities for the restart of the EU-Belarusian relations. Dzianis Melyantsou, a senior analyst of the Belarusan Institute for Strategic Studies, told the participants about foreign policy tendencies in the EU, Belarus, and Russia. The director of the Legal Transformation Center Olga Smolyanko made a report on the condition of civil society in Belarus, which was very helpful in the work on the strategic plan of the Belarusian National Platform.
The strategic plan 2016-2018 is a document that reflects the mission, purposes, and tasks of the Belarusian National Platform. The work on this document included active discussions and detailed formulations; it became obvious that the participants needed to have an accurate and clear position on the Belarusian National Platform in relation to both authorities and European structures.
In addition to the project of the strategy, the participants also adopted two positions: on the recent presidential election in Belarus and on the improvement of the relations between the official Minsk and the European Union. In particular, the BNP acknowledged the prospects for positive changes in Belarus, but noted that the human rights situation in the country has not improved in any way since December 2010.