State Awards Policy as Stability Factor for Authorities
On February 1st, President Lukashenko conferred state awards to representatives of industry, construction, civil servants, law enforcement, military, athletes, cultural and art workers.
Regular state awards ceremony is an additional tool to ensure loyalty to the country’s supreme leadership. The Belarusian state awards policy clearly demonstrates President Lukashenko’s priorities: the focus is on the law enforcement agencies’ officials.
The award ceremony held by Alexander Lukashenko on February 1st, was the third in 2013. These awards’ characteristic feature is President’s increased attention to the Law Enforcement agencies: of 246 awarded in 2013, 215 persons (87%) represented various Belarus’ law enforcement agencies.
The same trend can be observed over a longer period of time. Among the awarded in 2012, the vast majority were law enforcement officers – over 80%. Most frequently issued state decoration in Belarus is the medal “For Distinguished Service” of III degree.
Regular award ceremony held by President to decorate security officials should be considered as one of the tools to ensure their loyalty to the President. In turn, regular ceremonial meetings attended by the president enable the Belarusian power elite to attend additional gatherings to harmonize their interests, which, in turn, are a prerequisite for the stability of the state power in Belarus.
According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.