Belarus: EU proposes to suspend Visa Facilitation Agreement for regime’s officials

Belarus: EU proposes to suspend Visa Facilitation Agreement for regime’s officials

September 30, 2021

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 EUBelarus 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.

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Press release



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