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Opinions & Interviews

3 Nov 2016

CoE welcomes Belarus’ commitment to implementation of joint projects

CoE welcomes Belarus’ commitment to implementation of joint projects

MINSK, 3 November (BelTA) – The Council of Europe welcomes Belarus’ commitment to working effectively to implement joint projects, Verena Taylor, Director of the Office of the Directorate General of Programs of the Council of Europe, said in Minsk on 3 November, BelTA has learned.

“Programmatic Cooperation Framework (PCF) is an expression of the joint willingness of the Council of Europe and the EU to work together in the Eastern Partnership region, to promote values in part of human rights and democratic governance. This is a three-year program designed to run in 2015-2017. We believe that the second phase of the program for 2018-2020 will be approved. We will discuss it later. Everything we do together in a particular country is discussed at a trilateral level with the authorities of the state in question,” she said.

According to Verena Taylor, the program is aimed at improving the national legislation standards, supporting local programs of reform. She stressed that although Belarus is not a member of the Council of Europe the country has signed a number of important conventions in different areas.

“I would like to take this opportunity and thank you, dear country partners, for your commitment to working effectively with us. I am confident that we can move forward and achieve real results in cooperation with you. We have worked with Belarus for many years on a number of fronts. We saw that our cooperation was gaining momentum and becoming more focused. Belarus’ participation in many regional aspects of the PCF is one such examples,” Verena Teylor said.

CoE welcomes Belarus’ commitment to implementation of joint projectsFor his part, Head of Operations Section of the EU Delegation in Belarus Frederik Coene expressed confidence that the parties will expand the scope of interaction in the future. “Obviously, there are many issues on which we could work together. Last week, it was encouraging to see that Belarus adopted a national plan of action on human rights. We believe that there are many areas where we could cooperate. We are now discussing the possibility of extending the PCF. It would be good to think over the ways to deepen our cooperation on key issues,” Frederik Coene said.

“You know that the relations between the EU and Belarus are currently moving in a more positive direction. We are more actively engaged in dialogue on political issues. We have resumed dialogue on trade, customs matters, in the field of environmental protection,” Frederik Coene noted.

CoE welcomes Belarus’ commitment to implementation of joint projectsAndrei Yeroshkin, national coordinator of the PCF, a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, said that the parties have ensured the substantive cooperation which meets the interests of all parties, and involved Belarus in various programs. According to him, the subject is important for addressing the issues of the country’s further development and improving the national legislation and practices in relevant areas. Andrei Yeroshkin believes that the participation of Belarusian experts in the PCF projects can serve, in some cases, as a springboard and create the necessary basis for enhancing the participation of Belarus in the Council of Europe conventions.

The event hosted by The President Hotel in Minsk was dedicated to the medium-term results of the projects for the Eastern Partnership countries. Two country projects implemented in Belarus under the PCF in 2015-2017 are financed by the European Union and the Council of Europe. The total budget is €215,000. The projects are aimed at promoting the accession of Belarus to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, and promoting good governance and combating corruption. In addition to these two country projects, Belarus also participated in 13 regional initiatives covering all the countries of the Eastern Partnership.

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