On 29 September, the European Commission proposed to suspend certain articles of the EU’s Visa Facilitation Agreement with Belarus, which entered into force in July 2020.
According to a press release from the European Commission, “this decision follows the Belarusian regime’s attempts to destabilise the EU and its Member States by facilitating irregular migration for political purposes, as well as its decision on 28 June 2021 to suspend the EU–Belarus Readmission Agreement”.
The measures will only affect Members of Belarusian official delegations and Members of Belarusian national and regional Governments and Parliaments, the Belarus Constitutional Court and Belarus Supreme Court, in the exercise of their duties. At the same time, they will not affect ordinary citizens of Belarus, whowill continue to enjoy the same benefits under the Visa Facilitation Agreement as they do currently.
The measures will become applicable upon their adoption by the EU Council. Belarus will be notified of the decision on suspension no later than 48 hours before its entry into force.
Besides, partially in response to the situation at the EU’s external borders with Belarus, the Commission has adopted a renewed EU action plan against migrant smuggling and a Communication on the application of the Employers Sanctions Directive under its New Pact on Migration and Asylum. These initiatives aim at preventing state-sponsored migrant smuggling and organised exploitation of migrants, and reducing irregular migration.
Find out more
This website is managed by the EU-funded Regional Communication Programme for the Eastern Neighbourhood ('EU NEIGHBOURS east’), which complements and supports the communication of the Delegations of the European Union in the Eastern partner countries, and works under the guidance of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, and the European External Action Service. EU NEIGHBOURS east is implemented by a B&S Europe-led consortium. It is part of the larger Neighbourhood Communication Programme (2020-2024) for the EU's Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood, which also includes 'EU NEIGHBOURS south’ project that runs the EU Neighbours portal.