Belarusian Parliament has been unable to build working relations with the European Parliament

Category status:
- (The situation has deteriorated)
24-01.03.2020
Палата прадстаўнікоў. Фота: belta.by

By Dzianis Melyantsou

During the working visit of European parliamentarians to Minsk, their meeting with Belarusian MPs has been disrupted. This has once again demonstrated the complexity of the inter-parliamentary dialogue with the European Union.

Despite the normalization process between Minsk and Brussels and successful dialogue with other EU institutions, communication with the European Parliament has been most troublesome. Usually, MEPs take a tougher stance on what is happening in Belarus and have not recognized the Belarusian parliament as a democratically elected body. Nevertheless, following the general trend towards normalization, MEPs have also been looking for contacts with their Belarusian colleagues, however, refrained from making such contacts official.

Apparently, this was the reason behind the disruption of the meeting with Belarusian MPs in Minsk initiated by European deputies. Belarus had proposed to hold the meeting between MEPs and Belarusian MPs at the Government House, the HQ for both, the House of Representatives of the Belarusian Parliament and the Councils of Ministers. MEPs had agreed to a meeting at a neutral territory, which they thought the Government House was. As a result, the MEPs delegation canceled the meeting literally at the last moment, which prompted a negative response from Belarus.

The situation with MEPs has demonstrated, on the one hand, the lack of communication and trust in inter-parliamentary cooperation, and, on the other, reflected the special attitude of the European Parliament. Given that the first official meeting between MEPs and Belarusian MPs took place in 2017 at the House of Representatives, the current composition of the Belarusian parliament must be raising more concerns among MEPs than the previous one.