Last week, the European Commission started a procedure of suspending benefits for Belarus under the EU's Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), Belapan reported on 22 August. The commission has given the Belarusian government six months to bring the country's regulations into line with its international commitments and eight months more to carry out 12 recommendations of the International Labor Organization regarding the treatment of trade unions in the country. If the European Commission sees no progress on the recommendations in 14 months, it will request the EU Council of Ministers to temporarily abolish the GSP benefits for Minsk. According to the commission, the move would mean an annual loss of 100 million euros ($122 million) for Belarus.
Based in London, we are an informal group dedicated to supporting democracy and human rights throughout
the former Soviet Union. Our aims are:
Informing the public about issues in this area that receive little coverage in the Western media.
Staging peaceful demonstrations and letter-writing campaigns in support of specific causes.
Supporting and publicising nonviolent pro-democracy groups throughout the region.
Encouraging European and American involvement.
Support the Belarusian cartoonists
Third Way, the Belarusian organisation whose members are being prosecuted for producing satirical cartoons about Lukashenka,
have set up a web page where you can make a donation via PayPal. The group urgently
need money for their legal defence and operating expenses. Please give what you can today! Read more
We are continuing to focus our efforts on the Belarusian prisoner of conscience Mikhail Marinich.
We are campaigning for him to receive proper medical treatment, to be permitted to see his family,
and ultimately to be released from prison pending a review of his case. You can help by distributing
our factsheets and letters.
Members of these groups have joined our blog to share their views and experiences.