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July 17 – July 23, 2017

Due to dialogue with EU Parliament political environment in Belarus could improve

The situation has not changed
Due to dialogue with EU Parliament political environment in Belarus could improve

Minsk is attempting to use various communication platforms to improve its image on the international arena. The Belarusian leadership has demonstrated openness to dialogue on human rights and democratisation issues. In all likelihood, the Belarusian authorities could gradually enhance the role of political parties before the local election campaign.

The European Parliament has been prompted to communicate with Belarusian MPs due to the new situation, when there is a need for communication channels with Minsk.

The Belarusian civil society is discussing the fact that the opposition has lost the monopoly on contacts with European bodies, hence, could lose the support in the Belarusian-European dialogue. The European Parliament has always been more harsh on Minsk and since mid-2000s, had no contacts with the Belarusian authorities. In addition, civil society is concerned about the composition of the EP delegation, which includes some European MPs loyal to the Kremlin.

Most likely, Minsk would like to boost its presence in the European information space to improve investment attractiveness and credit support. The Belarusian authorities aspire to mitigate criticism and tough resolutions of the EP. In addition, Minsk hopes that the EU Parliament would revise its position as regards Belarusian MPs’ participation in the Euronest PA.

The Belarusian authorities also demonstrate their readiness to somewhat improve the domestic political environment and expand opportunities for the opposition. The Belarusian authorities’ actions are likely to remain inconsistent, albeit repression are likely to weaken. Meanwhile, supporters of the protest activity would continue to test the authorities, and should mass protest activity increase, the law enforcement could react harshly.

Overall, the Belarusian authorities could step up the role of elected bodies in the decision-making in order to relax tension in society and absorb the protest movement.

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