Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Popov criticized the EU’s visa policy towards Belarus. How to assess the EU’s position on the issue of visas? What are the objectives seek to achieve the Belarusian authorities? Do smooth relationship between price reductions for visas and the democratization of Belarus?
How to assess the EU’s position on the issue of visas?
Valery Karbalevich"After the introduction of our neighbors — Poland, Lithuania, Latvia — leave the Schengen zone there ordinary Belarusian citizens has become more difficult. For this reason, part of wishing could not get from Belarus to the usual music festival" Basowiszcza. "
Salting France, a country which is currently chairing the European Union (EU), Ms. Musso reiterated the previous position of the EU. According to her, the Belarusians should not expect easing visa procedures as Belarus sign agreement on cooperation and partnership with the EU. Brussels look at the position is clear and reasonable. If the Government of Belarus aims to foster good neighborly business with Europe, why the EU should make some concessions to Belarusian citizens? How to assess the EU’s position on the issue of visas? "
Andrei Fedorov"Formally, the EU’s position looks logical. But if you look deeper, I think this position wrong. For European politicians such logic. Belarusians, faced with difficulties traveling to Europe, will direct their anger on the Belarusian authorities.
I think this position is wrong. Belarusian authorities have the opportunity to explain the Belarusians that in fact this povinet EU. Since the official Minsk makes proposals to mitigate the visa regime. But the EU can wreck your own style in the sight of the Belarusians. "
Vital Silitski"The EU position on visa issues are harmful to the democratic Belarus. It is clear that the EU does not want to change the law and practice under one country. Visa policy — it is a tool of foreign policy. But, surely, Belarus — not so crucial for the EU to crush the usual practice. And the ambassadors of the EU in Belarus difficult marketavats such policies.
EU visa policies towards Belarus should become active, aimed at society rather than power. Because at the moment it gives arguments in favor of the Belarusian authorities. They said: "You see, Belarus in Europe, no one expects."
And the EU’s own visa policy sends a signal to the Belarusian society itself: if you suffer such a government policy that violates human rights, then why should we go for you to meet?
In addition, using such EU visa policy limits migration to European countries. After all, if people can not afford to pay for a visa yourself 60 euros, it can not, and much more. "
The Belarusian authorities
Karbalevich"The Belarusian authorities say that throughout the EU povinet that violates people’s right to freedom of movement. Foreign Ministry spokesman Belarus Popov said that it is wrong to link the policy and the price of visas because the visa issue — it is a matter humanitarian. Belarusian authorities use this excellent situation for propaganda purposes. BT knows sentimental stories about how hard it is to get a visa, the queues at the embassies of these countries. How to assess the position of the Belarusian authorities in this matter? "
Fedorov"First, I note a contradiction. On the one hand, not everyone can afford for themselves 60 euros, and on the other hand — the huge queues at the embassies. Not quite right to call new visa conditions in violation of the right to movement of people. Forbade not Move, but only complicated, while a more natural way — money.
About restrictions on movement. Belarus has a population of about 10 million people, and the citizens pay for a visa 60 euro. Ukraine is home to about 50 million people, and for the visa Ukrainians pay only 35 euros. This implies that the EU itself is not very frightened movement.
I’m not sure that the Belarusian authorities sincerely try to provide its citizens freedom to travel in Europe. But they favor easing of visa problems from several circumstances.
In 1-x, if the EU concessions in visa matters concerning the common people, then maybe it to soften its stance on the issue and visa restrictions on senior officials.
In-2-x, the Belarusian authorities have shown they are busy about the interests of the Belarusian people. B-3, of course, the official Minsk hopes that the EU shed all proposals for mitigation of the visa regime. "
Silitski"It is necessary to separate two issues: the price of visas and the function of their receipt. Important to note that obtaining visas in the embassies of EU member states occurs unlimited number of violations of human pluses applicants for a visa from the embassy employees, which in most cases are the Belarusian citizens. And Protection rights of the Belarusian authorities Belarusians — moral.
But is sincere in general the Belarusian authorities on this issue? They introduced themselves obstacles to moving their own people. For example, the decree on combating trafficking in human beings has been focused on limiting educational and humanitarian contacts.
On the other hand, the position of the Belarusian authorities to win. Calls to lower prices and visa facilitation are popular among the population. And knowing that the EU would not do it, you can at the same time show that in Europe we do not expect. "
Is there a link between a decrease in the price of visas and the democratization of Belarus?
Karbalevich"My interlocutors as opposition politicians believe that the new restrictions on travel to Europe Belarusians — this flawed policy of the EU, because it prevents the development of democratic and European values in Belarus. But there is a smooth relationship between price reductions for visas and the democratization of Belarus ?
According to opinion polls, more than 60% of the population of Belarus was not in the EU and, apparently, not very eager to go there. And this is the main electorate Lukashenko. In recent years, before joining Belarus’ neighbors in the Schengen area a lot of people from the border areas of Belarus went, for example, in Poland for commercial purposes. But the number of adherents of democratic values, the opposition parties in these areas has not increased. This is evidenced by polls. So maybe the idea that the more Belarusians go to Europe, the more they become Democrats and Europeans — it’s just a myth? "
Fedorov"No, it’s not a myth. Such a connection exists. But it can not be considered the sole or primary factor in the development of democratic beliefs. On the other hand, those who were not in the EU — it is not necessarily supporters of Lukashenka. Indeed, such a trip asks a lot of money. It is not only the price of visa, and the price is expensive, hotel accommodation, etc.. If visas were free, it would be an opportunity to travel more.
As for the shuttles that were engaged in trade in the border areas. Maybe after the price increase visa certain number of people changed their sights on the current democratic? "
Silitski"The question is not entirely correct. According to sociological studies, there is a trivial relationship between the departure and life abroad and critical perception of Belarusian reality."
Karbalevich"So maybe the reverse dependence here? Maybe just move abroad, those who have long been convinced of the democratic values and not the contrary?"
Silitski"Not exactly. Abroad go not alone opposition. There humanitarian contacts, family, and economic ties. Another thing is whether there is a correlation between the critical perception of Belarusian reality and willin
gness to democratic activity? Here I just can not say.
But I wish to direct your attention to another. Visa policy by each state — an EU member separately. Because opposition politician in negotiations with European politicians should allocate more optimal supply.
For now reduce the price of visas to 35 euros for all Belarusians will not work. But we can lobby for a more flexible visa policies of individual European countries in the framework of European legislation.
Please focus on the youth and to lobby its interests. That France has issued visas to Belarusian citizens under the age of 25 years free of charge. We need to lobby for the extension of this practice to other EU countries.
You also have to offer, that single Schengen visas were often free. For example, to pay 60 euros to go to Vilnius — it very much.
Further, that those citizens who, through their countless trips to Europe have proved their honesty, assured that it is not going to emigrate, gave lengthy visa with the least amount of documents. And in these matters can achieve a result. " Tags: visas, Schengen, EU Basowiszcza