Brussels, 14 December 2021 (TDI): To support the Belarusian population, the European Commission will seek an additional €30million to Belarus. This new funding will expand the support of the European Union (EU) to youth and independent media, small or medium-sized enterprises in exile, education, culture, and tourism.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, stated:
“The EU stands by the people of Belarus in their fight for freedom and democracy. We will step up our support with a new €30 million for youth, independent media, SMEs in exile and cultural actors – that the Lukashenko regime continues to repress. And we have a €3 billion economic and investment package ready to go for a democratic Belarus. The drive for freedom of the Belarusian people is an inspiration to us all.”
Moreover, Oliver Varhelyi, the Commissioner for Neighbourhood & Enlargement, also said:
“Ahead of the Eastern Partnership Summit, this announcement to increase our support is another clear sign that the European Union continues to stand firmly behind the Belarusian people in their fight for freedom. The Belarusian people can continue to count on the support and solidarity of the European Union in their struggle for building a democratic future.”
This assistance will improve the resilience and promote democratic change in Belarus by supporting the Belarusian people affected by the political crisis. The priority areas of focus include:
- EU support to the systematically suppressed independent media of Belarus through EU technical assistance, training, and the establishment of a donor coordination system.
- Opportunities for international mobility are available to students and academic staff through person-to-person contacts, especially between young academic staff and professionals, and continue to support European Humanities University.
- Providing advisory services and support to entrepreneurs and SMEs in exile.
- Supporting grants to cultural, artistic initiatives, as well as to artistic professionals’ growth, both in Belarus and Belarusian artists abroad.
Overall, the European Union provided Belarusians €65 million in assistance since August 2020. Furthermore, €24 million was also pledged by the European Union for civil society support and space preservation.