Labour market cannot accommodate all unemployed in Belarus
According to the , in late February 2015, there were 136 unemployed per 100 vacancies in labour, employment and social protection agencies. For the first time over the past few years, labour supply exceeded demand – mainly due to reduced demand from companies. The competition on the labour market is expected to grow further, including increased number of job seekers from Ukraine, while wages will grow moderately. Employees will continue cutting working week hours and lay-offs at enterprises will persist. The most qualified workers may consider labour migration outside the CIS market due to the increased wage gap.
The Belarusian authorities regard the Catholic conference as yet another international event to promote Minsk as a global negotiating platform. Minsk’s proposal to organise a meeting between the Roman-Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church is rather an image-making undertaking than a serious intention. However, the authorities could somewhat extend the opportunities for the Roman-Catholic Church in Belarus due to developing contacts with the Catholic world.
Minsk is attempting to lay out a mosaic from various international religious, political and sportive events to shape a positive image of Belarus for promoting the Helsinki 2.0 idea.
Belarus’ invitation to the head of the Holy See for a meeting with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church should be regarded as a continuation of her foreign policy efforts in shaping Minsk’s peacekeeping image and enhancing Belarus’ international weight. The Belarusian authorities are aware that their initiative is unlikely to find supporters among the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In Russia, isolationist sentiments prevail.
In addition, for domestic audiences, the authorities make up for the lack of tangible economic growth with demonstrations of growth in Minsk’s authority at international level through providing a platform for religious, sportive and other dialogues.