Hovsep Khurshudyan, EaP Civil Society Forum’s National Facilitator for Armenia, participated in the online hearings on the Economic dimension of the European way for Belarus took place on 20 July 2023. Moderated by Dzmitry Kruk, Senior Researcher of BEROC Research Center, the hearings were conducted by Belarusian Coordination Council in the framework of the series of such hearings on different aspects (political, cultural, economic, etc.) of European Integration for Belarus as a kind of introductory phase. The hearings gathered on one platform prominent scholars and public figures from Belarus, Armenia, Lithuania, Poland, and Switzerland:
1. Tatsiana Marinich, The Head of the International Commission of the Coordination Council, and the founder of Imaguru Startup-Hub: What is our ambition in regard to European integration?
2. Sierz Naurodski, ABBA, vice-President; CASE-Belarus, Senior Researcher: Eastern Partnership and Opportunities for Belarus
3. Hovsep Khurshudyan, EaP Civil Society Forum’s National Facilitator for Armenia, “Free Citizen” Civic Initiatives Support Center NGO, Chairman: The case of Armenia: between the EU and the Eurasian Union
4. Remigijus Šimašius, Former Mayor of Vilnius city; Former Minister of Justice of Lithuania; Former member of Parliament of Lithuania; Lithuanian Free Market Institute (economic research and promoting market reforms NGO), Former President: ‘View on Belarusian European integration from the perspective of Lithuanian experience’
5. Prof. Marek Dabrowski, Bruegel and CASE Research Fellow; CEU, Visiting Professor; former vice-Minister of Finance of Poland and member of the monetary policy Council of the National Bank of Poland: ‘Reform steps in Belarus for moving closer to European integration
6. Prof. Christopher Hartwell, International Management Institute, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, President: ‘Belarusian economic integration with the EU from European Perspective’
Discussants touched following questions:
– What is the Belarusian ambition in regard to European integration? (Tatsiana Marinich)
– To what extent Belarusian economy and Belarusian business are ready for European integration? (Tatsiana Marinich, Sierz Naurodski)
– How can we start our European path and what can the roadmap look like? (Sierz Naurodski)
– European integration given dependence on Russia and membership in Eurasian Union: what are the solutions? (Hovsep Khurshudyan)
– To what extent the EU might be interested in the Belarusian way to Europe? (Remigijus Šimašius, Christopher Hartwell)
– Which lessons from the experience of European integration of other CEE countries Belarus should learn? (Remigijus Šimašius, Marek Dabrowski, Christopher Hartwell)
– What are the major reform steps to be done in Belarus for engaging in European integration? (Marek Dabrowski, Christopher Hartwell)
– Which support Belarus can expect on its path to European Union? (Christopher Hartwell, Marek Dabrowski).
The event reflected the need of having a big-picture view of the prospects for Belarus’ European Integration, for further political decisions on the issue.