On January 8, 2020 Brussels (Belgium) hosted the signing ceremony of the Agreement between the Republic of Belarus and the European Union on visa facilitation and the Agreement between the Republic of Belarus and the European Union on the Readmission of persons residing without authorization. On behalf of Belarus the documents were signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vladimir Makei, on behalf of the EU the agreements were signed by the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia, Davor Božinović, (on behalf of the Croatian Presidency of the European Council) and the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson.
The agreements envisage the mutual simplification of visa procedures, including the reduction of visa fees to 35 Euros, as well as Belarus-EU cooperation in the field of readmission. The provisions of the agreements shall come into operation on the first day of the second month after the exchange of notifications on the completion of the parties' internal procedures.
Hence, the agreements should be ratified by the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus and approved by the European Parliament.
On the same day in the course of his visit to Brussels, the Belarusian Foreign Minister, Vladimir Makei, met with the Secretary General of the European External Action Service, Helga Schmid, and the European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, Johannes Hahn.
The sides discussed current state and prospects for the development of dialogue and cooperation between Belarus and the European Union both in the bilateral format and within the framework of the Eastern Partnership Initiative.