Only the Belarusian opposition was present at the summit. The EU member states unanimously adopted a declaration in which they reiterated their conditions for returning to dialogue with Minsk. Meanwhile a draft EU aid package for Belarus with a total value of approximately US$9 billion was presented, which can only be implemented after Brussels’ demands have been met.
The launch of a special grant facility to support the Eastern Partnership as part of the International Visegrad Fund was agreed on 16 June during the summit meeting of the Visegrad Group prime ministers in Bratislava. However, this symbolic reinforcement of the Fund’s engagement in the East does not exhaust the Group’s potential in this area. The Czech Republic, which is taking over the annual presidency of the Visegrad Group from Slovakia, will make efforts to coordinate activities linked to developmental and transformational assistance. The need to further coordinate the stances of the Central European countries in the EU was emphasised during the summit. The leaders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary declared their full support for the priorities of the Polish presidency of the Council of the EU.
On 10 February, the European Parliament (EP) decided to convene the first meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Eastern Partnership EURONEST in March. The meeting will take place without the participation of any representatives from Belarus. The Parliament’s decision ends an almost two-year stalemate that had prevented the launch of the EURONEST project.