The Delegation of the European Commission to Belarus opened in Minsk on 7 March 2008 after the signature of a respective agreement between the Commission of the European Communities and the Republic of Belarus. Following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on December 1, 2009, the Delegation is now officially called the Delegation of the European Union to Belarus (EU Delegation to Belarus). It is one of more than 140 EU Delegations around the world.
The Delegation has the status of a diplomatic mission and officially represents the European Union in Belarus.
On 1 January 2007 the European Union completed its fifth enlargement that had started in May 2004. Croatia joined the EU on 1st July 2013. Today the European Union is made up of 27 Members States, has a population of over 450 million and is the largest trading bloc in the world.
The mandate of the Delegation of the European Union to Belarus includes the following:
- Develop and maintain good and effective contacts with the national, regional, local authorities and administrations, representatives of the business community, EU Member States' Embassies, third countries' Embassies as well as with international and regional organisations/institutions;
- To establish a close dialogue with the authorities and other stakeholders (civil society organisations, universities, local media) on economic, social, governance, human rights and other policy issues;
- To state and explain the European Union position to the national authorities and to local Member States Representatives;
- Raise awareness about the European Union, its institutions and programs implemented in Belarus within the framework of the ENPI (European Neighbourhood Instrument);
- Support the preparation and implementation of the technical assistance programs financed by the EU.