Belarus has a unique opportunity to reach a qualitatively new level in the relations with the European Union. This was stated by the head of the Presidential Administration of Belarus Vladimir Mackey at the opening of the 13th Minsk Forum on November 3. "I am optimistic about Belarus - Germany relations, as well as Belarus - EU relations. I am confident that our tomorrow will be normal, bright," he said.
According to Vladimir Makey, «today there is no sense in looking for someone to blame on the missed opportunities, but it is important to concentrate on the implementation of the huge potential that exists in relations between Belarus and the European Union, BelTA informs.
«I am pleased to say that this process has already begun. Belarus is an interested and active member of the EU «Eastern Partnership» program, a multi-level political dialogue is being built, industry contacts are being implemented as well,» the head of the Presidential Administration said.
So, he said, there were shifts in the issue of removing barriers to interpersonal contacts. Thus, Belarus has signed an agreement on simplified border movement of citizens with the neighboring EU member states. According to Vladimir Makey, these are «conclusive signs of the beginning of movement towards one another.»
German Experience is of Particular Demand in Belarus, Makey
According to the head of the presidential administration, political and economic experience of the EU and of Germany, in particular, is of particular demand in Belarus today. So, the idea of «overall prosperity,» introduced by the economist and German Chancellor Ludwig Erhard, has become the key moment of the campaign for the presidential elections in Belarus and the Belarusian strategy as a whole, Vladimir Makey said.
He also noted that following this principle, Belarus intends to provide «entrepreneurial freedom and the possibility of every citizen to apply his forces,» to fulfill social obligations. According to the official, the main thing now is the Belarusian economy breakthrough, which is experiencing a particular period of structural reforms and is in need of German investments, new technologies, training assistance, and up-to-date practices.
Vladimir Makey stressed that Belarus had already managed to overcome the global economic crisis with foreign partners’ help, but the country’s still «to experience a zealous ascension to the European standards of the life quality.»
Still Many Steps to Make for Full Normalization of Relations with EU, Makey
Vladimir Makey regrets that there are still many steps to make up to a full normalization of the interaction, as Belarus is still criticized for lack of democracy, non-compliance with the European values and the outlined regression in relations with the EU.
Head of Presidential Administration called such claims irresponsible, noting that there had been major progressive modifications in the enlivened dialogue of Belarus with Europe over the past two years. In his opinion, this is the main argument for the further development of a comprehensive dialogue, cooperation and full involvement of Belarus in the European process.
«The course of the Belarusian leadership for reforming is unchanged. Not a hint for dialogue deterioration with the European Union is noticed. A systematic movement towards modernization and democratization is carried out. There’s simply no other way for such an open country as Belarus,» Vladimir Makey said.
He also noted that, and changes in political life might occur through the economic changes in the country, but they shouldn’t be rushed to result positively. According to the presidential administration, the Belarusian society must become mature for any kind of change, in connection with which people, based on their interest, will define themselves the order and priority of implementation problems, faced by the country. In his view, the transformation must get mature within the country and not be imposed from outside. «We need to maintain a calm dialogue with each other, and then we will reach the target, each party strives to,» Vladimir Makey said.
EU Failed to Overcome Lag Logic, Makey
«The EU has failed to overcome the lag logic and to abandon outdated practices of limitations to the very end,» the head of the Presidential Administration.
«Belarus may expect from the European Union more constructive steps. These are the simplification of visa regime and the final lifting of sanctions, the development of enhanced agreement on partnership and cooperation,» Vladimir Makey said, noting that Belarus is ready «for an honest, open discussion of the entire spectrum of issues in relations with the EU, but only in an equitable and respectful manner.
The official considers wrong the wait — and — see attitude of some foreign partners, who decided to await the outcome of the election, and then think about the way of relations development with Belarus. In his view, they can miss a real chance to establish a real mutually beneficial cooperation with Belarus. «Let us not repeat mistakes of the past, but learn from them. Belarusian leadership, as no one else, is interested in conducting an open and transparent election,» Vladimir Makey said.
«Building a unified, democratic, secure and stable Europe without our country will be incomplete at least. We stand for Europe without dividing lines, free of bloc thinking,» the head of the presidential administration summed up.