The Dialogue allowed for an extensive exchange of views on the situation with human rights both in Belarus and in the European Union, focusing in particular on the freedoms of expression, assembly and association; electoral rights; the death penalty; penitentiary reform; anti-discrimination policy; gender equality; and the fight against violence in the family.
Discussions were equally dedicated to the development of Belarus' national institutions for protection of human rights, as well as to further implementation of the National Human Rights Action Plan.
Furthermore, the participants discussed cooperation in promoting human rights in international fora, including cooperation via the UN mechanisms such as the Universal Periodic Review. A number of individual cases were addressed.
The European Union delegation was led by Dirk Schuebel, Head of Division for Bilateral Relations with the Eastern Partnership Countries of the European External Action Service (EEAS), and included representatives of the EEAS and the European Commission. The Belarusian delegation was led by Oleg Kravchenko, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, and included representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the Ministry of Education. Representatives of European Union Member States observed the talks. The European Union appreciated the active participation and contribution of a number of civil society and non-governmental organisations on civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights in parts of the Dialogue.
The next regular Human Rights Dialogue meeting between the EU and Belarus is expected to take place in 2019.