Integrating a Regime into Eurostructure Democratizes It

Within the development of the dialogue between Belarus and the European Union the bilateral cooperation attracts more attention of society.

The idea of mechanisms and means of cooperation of Belarus with international community expresses Tatiana Poshevalova – an expert of the Program of the European Commission “Support to the development of the potential and network cooperation of Belarusian NGOs and the local authorities”.

The intention to establish more close relations with Belarus was clearly marked already two years ago, but not this autumn. It was incited foremost by the exhaust of the previous policy, and not by new serious factors, states the expert. New factors only spurred and speeded up the course of events.

The uniqueness of the Belarusian situation is concluded in prior moves of Belarusian civil society, specific PR, prior policy and acknowledgment of Belarus as a problematic country to some extent. We are having a chance that wasn’t observed in any country within the their relations with the European Union: Belarusian civil society claims (even ready) for the role of the country within negotiations, instead of the role of an intermediary, as Belarusian President states – notes Tatiana Poshevalova. - And now there is a scheme: The European Union, Belarusian state and Belarusian civil society. And it happens because the EU as an interstate institute can lead a dialogue only with a whole nation, and not with its part. Independently from the leading party of this or that European state, it is a voice of the whole nation. And in Belarus the situation is quite specific: our Party is broken into two unequal parts, in rhetoric, in representation in Parliament, in electoral policy and so on. A part of Belarusian society simply is in margins and is deprived of the right to participate in this negotiations. And that is why Belarusian civil society should be a part of this negotiations, and European experts and authorities realize that.

Tatiana Poshevalova is convinced that the position of civil society should be consolidated and represented by a single voice, and not by two, three or more, as the kind of split position won’t be perceived respectively by Europe.

– And this is about whether we are able to create a team of people, that could represent Belarusian civil society appropriately during negotiations? Europeans wait for this”, - says Poshevalova.

The EU accomplishes its policy by the means of the list of instruments (programs).

– With this programs the EU affects neighboring countries, and these programs is our tool of influence on common European policy and we’ll become its part”, - considers Tatiana Poshevalova. – “Today it’s not that important whether Belarusian regime will participate in these problems voluntary or involuntary, the most important is for this move to produce positive changes. It’s significant to understand, that independently from will Belarus participate within the “Eastern Partnership” program or not, we still lose something. However we should remember that we’ll benefit at the second or third stage of this scenario, and we should lead the dialogue accordingly.

The euroexpert is assured, that Belarusians can benefit a lot. Firstly, the regime will never agree to democratize, but it will do this under the pressure. Integrating a regime into Eurostructure democratizes it gradually. How? We shouldn’t perceive European instruments as a reward, but as a tool that can change the situation in the country if to imply it wisely. Regime will never fulfill conditions, that we would see as sufficient to award it with European funds and credits.

Among these instruments that should be wisely applied Tatiana Poshevalova specifies technical assistance (borders facilities, garbage recycling – the things that are beneficial for the European Union itself and that are always financed independently from the situation), targeted programs (civil society development, human rights, medicine, health care system and others that should be implemented by the civil society together with Western partners as a financial source). The second tool is the program of “Eastern Partnership”.

– This is a political program, - specifies Poshevalova. – It has targeted funding, but these are not projects, not grants, but common communicative platforms for joint actions in the list of spheres – energy, security, economy and so on. Definite investing programs can be opened or suspended depending on the decisions made. And today civil forum joins this process – NGO platform, that will monitor all other issues, and this demands respective qualification and legitimization, that should be worked over carefully by civil society. We should learn to implement these instruments on our own, instead of being a part of an instrument in others hands.
Translated from zautra.by