The Belarusian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum calls for the ratification of the European Charter of Local Self-Government
On 20-29th November 2015, the Conference of the Belarusian National Platform (BNP) of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum approved two documents on the subject of socio-political situation in the country following the recent presidential elections and the new opening in the EU-Belarus cooperation.
The BNP members call on the responsible authorities of the Republic of Belarus, the EU institutions, EU Member States, relevant international organisations and civil society in Belarus for more opportunities that could lead to greater cooperation with the EU. It calls to use every possible opportunity for constructive dialogue.
In light of the current situation in Belarus, the BNP pointed to some specific areas for cooperation that are the most promising in terms of longer-term changes, and in particular the need of developing a Local Self-government: an important and fundamental step for Belarus will be joining the European Charter of Local Self-Government.
Starting from the preparation of the concept until the implementation, Belarus urgently need to be introduced to a Program of Local Self-Government, including all principles and norms of the European Charter, and namely the values of decentralisation of power, subsidiarity, fiscal decentralisation, and citizen participation to political and social life of the community.
Furthermore, the BNP reiterates its stand on the final assessment of the presidential elections. On the basis of the election monitoring results including by the local civil society representatives, it notes that “the Presidential Elections in 2015 cannot be considered free, open and equal” and that “the election results cannot be considered a reflection of the will of the voters”, referring to the actual violations that occurred. In the declaration, the BNP calls on all the stakeholders to open a dialogue on the political situation in the country and to demand to a democratic change.
ALDA has always been supportive of improved governance and increased citizen participation in Belarus. With that in mind, ALDA supports the two approved documents and looks forward to further collaboration with the Belarusian partners.