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Baltic, Benelux and Nordic parliamentarians jointly discuss the future of Europe and situation in Belarus

On 2 October 2020, the topical debates during the Session of the Benelux Parliament were held.

Parliamentarians of the Baltic, Benelux and Nordic countries discussed the consequences of Brexit, the Conference on future of the Europe and recent events in Belarus.

President of the Benelux Parliament and its members opened a web meeting with their colleagues of the Baltic Assembly and the Nordic Council in order to discuss the rule of law, democracy and human rights in the light of recent events in Belarus. The MP’s of the three inter-parliamentary assemblies recognized the importance of the rule of law and the respect for the values, which are a binding agent between the three inter-parliamentary assemblies. The MP’s are also concerned about the violent suppression of the peaceful demonstrations to demand new presidential elections.

Therefore, the parliamentarians of the three inter-parliamentary assemblies support the request for new fair and free elections and call on the Belarusian authorities to engage in a national inclusive dialogue and respect the principles of democracy and human rights.

Parliamentarians also discussed the consequences of Brexit. It was highlighted that the Baltic Assembly believe that there is a need to have a discussion on the EU’s future, including priorities and directions for the further development. "There is no doubt that Brexit tests the integrity and future prospects of the EU, challenging the principles and foundation of the Union. Due to that, we must do even more to make Europe closer to our citizens to prevent similar situations arising in the future," believes President of the Baltic Assembly Aadu Must.

Another important issue that was discussed during the debates is the Conference of future of Europe. Vice President of the Baltic Assembly Jānis Vucāns noted that the Baltic Assembly sees that there are three significant topics that should be addressed in the Conference on the future of Europe. Firstly, the impact of the COVID-19 on the economies, healthcare systems and societies in general. Secondly, protection of democratic values that currently are under threat; and, thirdly, support for the Eastern Partnership countries.

It was also noted that despite all the support the Baltic states have already provided to the partners of the Eastern Partnership, there is a need to continue with a targeted approach. Currently the support is crucial for these countries – there is a need to provide aid for Belarusian people as well as support a peaceful resolution of the disagreements between Armenia and Azerbaijan after heavy fighting erupted in Nagorno Karabakh just recently.