Belarus - a chance for democracy?


The European public opinion is informed about the situation in Belarus mainly in the context of spectacular or highly important political events. There is definitely a lack of up-to-date information and current analysis on subjects that do not appear on the first pages and – in case of Belarus- rarely become the subject of analytical expertise. However, these subjects are crucial for the evaluation and monitoring of the process of democratic transformation. These topics include the situation of the civil society and non-governmental organizations, or the cooperation of the latter with the democratic opposition circles. There are also very few publications on subject related to ecology, climate change and the energy question in a different context than the economic, as well as gender issues that in Belarus are just starting to become the subject of public debate. The access to information in these fields is limited also in Belarus itself – due to the propagandist character of the state-dependent media, but partly also due to the lack of relevant publications and analysis. The articles of Belarusian experts, which we shall regularly publish on our website will allow a glance into little known aspects of the current situation in Belarus from an insider’s perspective. We wish you an interesting read!


Gender and women politics


Feminism in Post-Soviet Belarus

September 14, 2010 -

How does a society with a lengthy period of socialist experience in its recent past think of the oppression of women? Would it recognize the issue at all? How would it see the origin of this oppression? Finally, what needs to be done for the world to become a better place? The way these issues have been theorized in the former socialist region was quite different from how they were seen in the West.

Elena Gapova more»



Situation of Individuals with Non-heterosexual Orientation

- June 7, 2010 -

International organizations are beginning to pay attention to the problems of the Belarusian LGBT community. This year, reports about violations of the rights of gays and lesbians in Belarus have been published by the majority of international organizations. However, this does not translate into an actual government effort. For the time being, state authorities try to avoid addressing publicly the issue of LGBT rights, thereby hindering any public debate on this subject.

Alaksandr Palujan more»



The whole hope in the Hope. Women’s movement in Belarus

- January 28, 2010 - Even though independent women’s organisations have managed to gather some experience and skills, and gain recognition and authority in the women’s issues, it cannot be called a mass movement that would be able to influence the social development and political decision making. Yelena Yaskova more»



Equal chances remain a declaration. Women’s status in Belarus

- January 28, 2010 - On the one hand, the state declares a will to improve women’s status and promote equal rights, but on the other, women are still deprived of opportunities in professional advancement, salary increases, access to professional positions and power. Yulia Mitskevich more»

Civic society and opposition


Does the Belarusian opposition need a generational change?

August 31, 2010 -

Various crisis and occasional scandals among the leaderships of political parties erupting inside the Belarusian opposition, force numerous analysts and observers to talk about a generational conflict within the opposition. Has such a conflict really appeared and is a generational change necessary in the Belarusian democratic movement?

Dzianis Melyantsov more»



Political Participation at the Local Level

- June 2, 2010 - The society of Belarus was under the influence of the Soviet regime for 70 years, the consequences of which can be seen to this date – in political and social culture, in how institutions and social structures are organized, and in the way governance is exercised and power is enforced. Without awareness of this heritage it is impossible to understand how local communities function or how citizens participate in the decision-making process. Tatyana Vodolazhskaya and Andrey Yegorov more»



Civil society – long traditions, lack of strategy?

- February 1, 2010 - The case of Belarus is unique, even when compared to the neighboring countries. Its specific character is proved by the low level of national identity caused by severely underdeveloped nation-shaping processes. The authoritarian state remains, until this day, the main architect of the Belarusian national project. Yuri Chavusau more»



Warmer relations between Minsk and Brussels – dilemmas of the opposition.

- January 31, 2010 - Once the EU’s policy towards Minsk has changed, instead of increasing their popularity in the European capitals, leaders of the Belarusian opposition need to focus on winning the sympathy of Belarusians. Under the pressure of the West, Lukashenka should come to terms with the opposition, which will be given access to the parliament and local governments, in exchange for certain concessions in favor of the authorities. Yuri Drakakhrust more»

Dialogue Belarus - UE


Eastern Partnership and Belarusian Civil Society

February 28, 2010 - The fact that Belarus joined the EU Eastern Partnership is a major event that gives a new momentum to the recent dynamics in EU- Belarus relations. The reanimated public debate raised hopes of civil society groups about the future of the Belarusian relations with the EU. Will the partnership be however able to meet the expectations and lead to a true change for example in the country’s rigid association laws?  Are the public rapprochement with the European partner an authentic agenda for change or merely a facade? Alaksandr Lahviniec more»




- February 1, 2010 - Undoubtedly, Belarus could already be an EU member. According to experts, its starting conditions in the early 1990s were no worse than those of Poland or the Czech Republic’s. Aleksander Klaskousky more»

Ecology and energy


Belarus – Russia: Dependency or Addiction?

June 2, 2010 - Belarus is able to meet only 13-15 percent of its energy needs from its own reserves and   its basic basic fuel is natural gas imported from Russia, which constitutes from 75 to 80 percent of energy consumption. Of course, not only Belarus is dependent on Russian energy supplies, since the Baltic States and several Central European countries are in a similar situation. However, Belarus is most vulnerable, because Russia is virtually the sole supplier of its energy. Tatiana Manenok more»



Renewable energy in Belarus

- January 28, 2010 - At present, a complex bureaucratic system is in place in the Republic of Belarus that constitutes an obstacle for the growth of the renewable energy sector. Numerous concepts and programs have been drawn up, whose effectiveness is rather doubtful. G. W. Kuzmich; I.P. Usova more»



Nukes for Belarus?

- January 28, 2010 - About the plans of building a nuclear power station in Belarus, about hopes of the authorities and position of the NGO's writes Tatiana Novikava more»



Belarusian shade of Green – little politics, much ecology

- January 28, 2010 - In Belarus, ecology surfaced as a subject of the public debate after the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl. But the popularity of the Greens is not only the aftermath of Chernobyl. Natalya Ryabova more»