Minsk not interested in full PACE membership
Last week, Chairman of the House of Representatives Vladimir Andreichenko said that Belarus had intensified her efforts to restore the special guest status in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Official Minsk is nevertheless unwilling to meet conditions for the restoration of the guest status in the PACE and to impose a moratorium on the death penalty, hoping to confine to public debate on this issue. The Belarusian authorities are neither interested in full PACE membership, nor in implementing a number of political commitments. Belarus’ recognition of the jurisdiction of the Court of Human Rights is fraught with additional financial burden if Belarusians gain the right to file claims against the state. Restoring the special guest status in PACE, on the other hand, would significantly level up the Belarusian Parliament’s status on the international arena as a legitimate and democratically elected representative body and eventually would oust the opposition from the settlement process in Belarusian-European relations.
The Labour and the Tax Ministries are considering the possibility to include persons engaged in some economic activity without forming a legal entity in the social security system. When the decree No 337 comes into effect, the number of private entrepreneurs is likely to reduce due to the possibility of reducing the tax burden when switching to a tax payment as an individual. 95% of self-employed, including PE, pay insurance premiums on the basis of the minimum wage. The number of self-employed citizens is expected to increase, the number of insurance contributions to the pension system from PE will decrease, the number of citizens who will pay a fee to finance government spending will decrease by several tens. Self-employed citizens have the alternative not to pay social security fees and save resources for future pensions, which, given the gradual restriction by the state of pension requirements could be a more long-sighted option.