Friday, 30 November 2007

Call for support: How to avoid the iron curtain between the EU and Belarus?

The EU claims that its priority in relations with Belarus is not to isolate the country despite its harsh policy towards the Lukashenko regime, but instead to "engage with Belarusian society by further strengthening its support for civil society and democratisation" and further, to "intensify and facilitate people-to-people contacts". Notwithstanding this, after 1 January of 2008, Belarus will paradoxically be the only EU Eastern neighbour whose citizens will have to pay EUR 60 for a single entry Schengen visa that approximately equals one third of the average monthly salary there. This will affect most strongly the cross border movement between Belarus and its closest western neighbours, i.e. Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia.

Find more information including an appeal for taking action regarding visas for Belarusian citizens in the following document prepared by the Stefan Batory Foundation, Poland, and the Association for International Affairs, Czech republic:
To support this appeal, please send an e-mail to Marta Pejda from the Polish NGDO platform Zagranica,, or Anita Szymborska at by December 5, indicating your name and the organisation you represent.

Information provided by Marta Pejda, Grupa Zagranica,

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