Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the closure of the "RADA"

The EU has learned with deep regret about the decision of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus to close the Belarusian Union of Youth and Children’s Public
associations “RADA”. This decision is another serious blow to the development of civil  society in Belarus.

“RADA” established a wide network of relations with different youth organisations in  Europe serving simultaneously as a focal point not only for NGO’s in neighbouring
countries, but also for many European partners in Belarus. The union tried to promote in its activities the principles of European youth policy. “RADA” was also a member of the  European Youth Forum.

The EU would like to reiterate its support for the development of civil society in the  Republic of Belarus and people-to-people contacts with European partners. Promoting
dialogue and cooperation among young people in Europe, in particular among neighbours, is an essential element of our policy.

The EU calls on the relevant Belarusian authorities to reconsider the decision with regard to the closure of “RADA”. The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and  Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine align themselves with this declaration.

* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the
Stabilisation and Association Process.