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Belarus’ painful path to transition

Belarus is in the deepest political crisis in its modern history. Public protests of hundreds of thousands, representing all social layers and groups, have continued for four months, and spread across the whole country. They initially erupted following the largely flawed presidential election on 9 August, in which the incumbent Alexander Lukashenko claimed a landslide […]

The EU needs a cool-headed Eastern Policy

Despite what looks like increasing tensions between the European Union and Russia, both blocs will stay neighbours for the foreseeable future. The EU should face up to this reality, work on a common policy, based on interests and norms, and set the agenda. In times of increasing global challenges, both Moscow and Brussels must understand […]

The deeper causes of Belarusian popular mobilisation

The mass mobilisation in Belarus in 2020, like Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution, is a form of post-electoral protest. The mobilisation was triggered by state repression against the opposition and blatant falsifications of the 9 August presidential election results. Several factors contributed to the politicisation of Belarusians. The new opposition conducted an efficient agitation campaign against […]

Belarus at the crossroad: what role for Europe?

President Alexander Lukashenko has lost legitimacy. He is no longer in control of the situation in the country. But the structures of repression are still on his side. They are likely to continue to support him, as the Kremlin successfully discourages the West from intervening more actively in Belarus. Who could help change the situation? […]

Against the EU’s passivity towards Belarus

The mass protests in Belarus are unprecedented in the nation’s history. Hundreds of thousands of people went to the streets regularly to protest against the falsification of the election results. Some still do. Not only the scale, but also the duration of the protests is surprising. Despite brutal interventions by the riot police, mass arrests […]

From a symbolic to an effective foreign policy – the EU in Belarus

The EU’s institutional, economic and political channels to exert influence on Belarus are limited. All the contrary to Russia’s multifaceted and well-institutionalised strategy vis-à-it’s small western neighbour. However, a realistic acknowledgement of the EU’s capabilities is no excuse for self-complacency and determinism. The quest of the Belarussian people for democracy constitutes a movement of fellow […]

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