On May 13, 2019 the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, Vladimir Makei, took part in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Foreign Ministers’ meeting at the invitation of the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, and the Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn. The meeting was held in the frames of the EU-organized high-level events dedicated to the 10th EaP Anniversary on 13-14 May.
Speaking in the presence of the colleagues from the EU Member States and EaP countries, V.Makei gave his assessment of the results achieved in the framework of the EaP and its’ future development.
The Minister spoke out in favour of large infrastructural projects to be implemented under the Indicative TEN-T Investment Action Plan. V.Makei also called for facilitation of trade with the EU, including for its non-associated partners.
The Belarusian Foreign Minister proposed to set ambitious yet realistic EaP priorities for post-2020. “Why not, for instance, increase in three the EaP states’ export to the EU and the EU investments in these countries by 2030, or double the number of working places created by the EU in the EaP states, or implement at least one energy efficiency project in every EaP town?”, – the Minister suggested. The head of the Belarusian delegation also proposed to create a dedicated “sector” for EaP projects at the European Investment Bank or set up a specialized EaP bank.
Speaking of cross-border mobility, V.Makei advocated for the removal of artificial administrative barriers at the external EU frontier which currently cause crossing time delays up to 10 hours for persons and up to several days for cargo carriers.
Foreign Minister of Belarus V.Makei with High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission F.Mogherini, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania T.Melescanu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine P.Klimkin
The Minister also called for intensified cooperation in the digital area, including development of a regional agreement for personal data protection. V.Makei proposed to set up an EaP IT School in Minsk building on the experience of the EaP School in Tbilisi and stressed the importance of additional support for private enterprise, small and medium-sized companies.
Foreign Minister of Belarus V.Makei with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan E.Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Z.Mnatsakanyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia D.Zalkaliani
V.Makei informed the audience that Belarus is ready to host a high-level event in Minsk on the occasion of 10th EaP Anniversary.
Foreign Minister of Belarus V.Makei with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office M.Lajčák, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland J.Czaputowicz
On the same day, the Foreign Ministers of the EaP countries and the EU Member States addressed regional security matters at a working lunch hosted by the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini.
Foreign Minister of Belarus V.Makei with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium D.Reynders
On the margins of the meeting, the Head of the Belarusian delegation met with a number of his EU and EaP counterparts. The discussions focused on bilateral cooperation and the future of Belarus – EU relations.
Foreign Minister of Belarus V.Makei with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden M.Wallström
V.Makei invited partners from the EU and EaP states to attend the 2nd European Games in Minsk from 21 to 30 June, 2019.