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The European Commission has presented to the Council its outline for a comprehensive plan of economic support to a future democratic Belarus. The plan, of up to €3 billion, reflects the European Union’s commitment to support the Belarusian people’s wishes for a peaceful democratic transition in the country following the Presidential elections of August 2020, which were neither free nor fair. Once Belarus embarks on a democratic transition, the EU will activate the support plan.
President von der Leyen said: “Our messages are twofold. To the people of Belarus: we see and hear your desire for change, for democracy, and for a bright future. And to the Belarusian authorities: no amount of repression, brutality or coercion will bring any legitimacy to your authoritarian regime. So far, you have blatantly ignored the democratic choice of the Belarusian people. It is time to change course. When – and we believe it is a case of when, not if – Belarus starts its peaceful democratic transition, the EU will be there to accompany it.”
The support plan highlights several indicative measures to enhance Belarus’ resilience: boosting the country’s economic recovery; addressing key structural reforms; and investing in sustainable infrastructure and the green and digital transformations.
To deliver tangible results, the EU, including the European Commission in co-operation with International Financing Institutions, will support flagship investments, from supporting economic growth to connectivity, boosting innovation and supporting climate action, and supporting democracy, transparency and accountability. In addition and complementary to the economic plan, the EU will offer to conclude a bilateral framework agreement in order to reinforce the longer-term relations between the EU and a democratic Belarus. A full press release is available online, together with a factsheet.