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Belarus: Learn about the EU on the Internet

Today, if you want to learn about activities and the policy of the European Union towards Belarus, you may easily do it online and choose what you like more. Which websites give the best coverage on the relationship between Belarus and the European Union? Adaria Gushtyn offers a short overview of the Belarusian Internet space.

Delegation of the European Union to Belarus

The official website of the EU Delegation to Belarus contains all the basic information concerning cooperation as well as statements from European politicians, calls for projects and new opportunities for the Belarusian side, summing up the results of completed projects and reports. In the Press corner, there are links to official pages of the EU, catalogues of completed and ongoing cooperation programs of the EU and Belarus, financed by the EU, the EU guide for journalists and researchers, press releases of the European Commission and the EU Council, and the EU statistics database Eurostat. The website also contains basic educational guides about the European Union – you can find them in Virtual Library.

Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies BISS

The independent think tank BISS proposes development strategies for Belarus and promotes open public policy in the country through special research, expertises and recommendations, plus it organizes the dialogue between experts, civil society and political agents.

The site contains current news of the organization, its latest investigations, research archives and comments over the years, focusing on the international policy of Belarus, its relations with the European Union, the development of economic and political institutions in the country.

BISS also traces which trends were actual in Belarus in different times and analyzes media reports, backed by its experts’ careful research.

All the studies are divided into four major groups: human capital, social contract, modernization and institutional change, foreign policy (Belarus and the EU, Eurasian integration, the Middle East, Belarus, China, Latin America).

Key experts are Alexei Pikulik, Dzianis Melyantsou, Andrei Yeliseyeu, Aliaksandr Autushka-Sikorski.

International Consortium EuroBelarus

It was founded in 2007 to encourage and support pro-European development of Belarus. The organization’s mission is to contribute into the formation and promotion of civil society in Belarus as an equal and competent agent. EuroBelarus positions itself as a platform for discussion on the Belarusian-European relations. This is the main topic of all the publications, author’s assessments and researches on the website. In addition, another significant mission is the organizational development of civil society agents – their conscious contribution in the processes of de-Sovietization, Belarusianization and Europeanization.

There is a special section for NGOs news, the service promptly inform about the events related to the National Platform Civil Society Forum. It is also worth to consider special projects on the site. One of the latest is City Day. Its goal is to reflect the realities of the modern Belarusian cities, to show the rules and principles according to today’s urban life is organized in the regions. In the Library you can find electronic versions of books by the experts of EuroBelarus.

Key experts are Vlad Velichko, Vladimir Mackievich, Andrei Yahorau.

Centre for European Transformation

It was established in 2010 as a part of International Consortium EuroBelarus. The main areas of their research are the European Union’s eastern policy, political and economic transformations, civil society development, and transformation regarding culture, education, and quality of life. Currently their researches and analyses are focused on the EU initiative, the Eastern Partnership, as well as on the European dialogue with Belarusian society on modernisation.

The website provides also monitoring of civil society development in Belarus at different periods, expert assessments of integration projects that involve our country, research on the standard of living in Belarus, and infrastructure development in the region.

Key experts are Andrei Yahorau, Vadalazhskaya Tatiana, Aksana Shelest, Georgi Plashchynski.

Solidarity with Belarus – Information Office

It was launched after the elections on 19 December 2010 in Warsaw, its mission is informing about human rights, conducting special meetings and seminars for journalists and community leaders – everything that wouldl contribute to the approximation of Belarus to democratic values.

Work with journalists is another important activity of the organization. They help not only Belarusian authors, but also foreigners who write about Belarus. It is for journalists, they created a contest for the best publication on Belarus. The contest resulted in publishing a special book – the Office has developed a guide for journalists who are going to visit our country. In addition, the organization performs the monitoring of media, regional overview, and publishes the analyses of the current economic and political situation in Belarus, as well as its future prospects. Another section on the site is dedicated to the analysis of the external policy of Belarus.

Headed by Yuliya Slutskaya.

Office for a Democratic Belarus

It was established in Brussels. The organization’s mission is to strengthen ties between the European Union and Belarus, to fine-tune the EU programs directed to Belarus according to the local needs and achieve planned results.

The Office stands for the dialogue between the independent experts and government officials, as well as for the harmonization of national policies and legislation of Belarus with the best standards and practices of the EU and the Eastern Partnership. For that the Office realises the program “The EU and Belarus: Sharing Experience” (on education, energy, transportation, environment, etc.).

Special sections are devoted to the simplification of visa regime between the EU and Belarus, civil society development in the Eastern Partnership region, and cultural projects. On the website you can also find resolutions and statements by the European Union on Belarus, and official press releases.

Author: Adarja Gushtyn

Editor: Olga Stuzhinskaya

Originally the article was published on Новая Эўропа

Translated by MA

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