European Parliament approves Paleckis' report on situation in Belarus
The document is addressed to the European Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy , the Council of the EU and the states - members of the European Union , reports BelaPAN.
The report prepared by Lithuanian MEP Justas Paleckis caused a great public outcry in the first reading back in May. Representatives of the Belarusian opposition and human rights activists protested because the report indicated improvement of the human rights situation in Belarus in 2012 . In response to the allegations, Paleckis said that the conclusions were based on the information provided by the Belarusian human rights defenders. Later , around 300 amendments were included into the report. In July, the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament considered the report in the second reading and approved.
Discussing the report on September 11, the MEPs have repeatedly stressed that a prerequisite to the commencement of any dialogue with Minsk is release and rehabilitation of all political prisoners in Belarus . The document also states that the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius in November "could be an important opportunity to improve the relations between Belarus and the EU , provided that the Belarusian authorities release and rehabilitate all political prisoners ."
The report recommends the EU to unilaterally simplify the procedure for issuing visas for Belarusians and reduce their costs from 60 euros down to a level acceptable for the Belarusian citizens. It is also recommended to take full advantage of opportunities for issuing free visas to the EU.
Photo - paleckis.lt