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20 Dec 2017

Belarus-EU partnership priorities discussed in Brussels

Belarus-EU partnership priorities discussed in BrusselsMINSK, 20 December (BelTA) - The draft priorities of the partnership between the European Union and Belarus for 2017-2020 were discussed during the fourth meeting of the Belarus-EU Coordination Group in Brussels on 19-20 December, BelTA learned from the Belarusian Embassy in Belgium.

“The meeting examined the prospects for further development of relations between Belarus and the EU, including the participation of Belarus in the EU’s initiative Eastern Partnership, the interaction in mobility, the current state of the sectoral dialogues, cooperation within the framework of EU technical assistance and also human rights issues. Particular attention was paid to the major tasks and areas of cooperation within the framework of the Eastern Partnership by 2020,” the embassy said.

The sides discussed the status and prospects for the implementation of the EU’s technical assistance programs in Belarus, including the use of existing and future EU instruments, participation of Belarus in the EU’s partnership program for Eastern European countries in energy efficiency and nature conservation. The parties examined the ways of intensifying project collaboration in transport and logistics, regional development, entrepreneurship support, including with the involvement of international financial institutions.

Experts held the consultations on the draft visa facilitation agreement and discussed the algorithm of joint steps on this track.

The Belarusian delegation was headed by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Oleg Kravchenko. The delegation of the European Union was led by Thomas Mayr-Harting, Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia in the European External Action Service. Representatives of some Belarusian non-governmental organizations participated in a number of segments of the coordination group.

The third round of the trade dialogue between Belarus and the European Union was held with the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture of Belarus and the Directorate-General for Trade of the European Commission. The delegations traditionally exchanged the information on the bilateral trade which has showed positive dynamics this yea. The parties held substantive discussions on the mutually applicable veterinary-sanitary and phytosanitary measures in respect of agricultural products.

The Belarus-EU Coordination Group was established in 2016 for the structured comprehensive dialogue on a wide range of issues of bilateral cooperation. Previously the meeting was held in Brussels on 6-7 April 2016. Minsk hosted the group on 16-17 November 2016 and 3-4 April 2017.

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