Should Belarus Join the Council of Europe?

Belarus remains the only country in greater Europe that is not a member of the Council of Europe. President Aleksandr Lukashenko has never shown much interest in joining. Being an organisation of values, PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) does not offer its members financial rewards, but requires them to commit to democracy and human rights but Minsk seems to have little interest in Council membership. (EU Delegation to the Council of Europe – Belarus Digest)

According to Vadzim Smok, researcher at the Institute of Political Studies ‘Political Sphere’, “by trying to engage Belarus in the one hand, Europe is turning a blind eye to the country’s many domestic issues, on the other it tries to integrate the country into pan-European structures which may benefit not only Belarusian authorities”.