In the agreements, the parties recognize the importance of obligations and responsibilities, including respect for human rights and democratic principles, arising from relevant international conventions applicable to them. "Today is a concrete step that will bring Europeans and Belarusians closer together. The visa facilitation agreement will allow EU citizens and Belarusians to travel more freely, and the readmission agreement will also help to combat irregular migration and benefit both Belarus and the EU. "The simplification of travel to and from the EU, both for Belarusian citizens and for EU citizens, is an important step towards further cooperation and understanding between the EU and Belarus, as well as a dialogue on democratic values. I would also like to encourage the European Commission to come back to us one year after the conclusion of the agreement so that we can assess the extent to which the agreement is in line with its intentions," said ond Kovaék (Renew, CZ), rapporteur of the visa facilitation agreement. The Council today adopted two decisions on an agreement to facilitate the issuance of visas and a readmission agreement with Belarus. MEPs stress that Belarus has committed in recent years to improving respect for universal freedoms, the rule of law and human rights, including freedom of expression, expression and media, as well as workers` rights. They also point out that all this is a fundamental criterion for EU policy towards third countries and that the visa facilitation agreement could be fully or partially suspended for reasons of human rights and democracy. On Thursday, MEPs backed two agreements with Belarus to facilitate the return of people without the right of residence and the issuance of visas for short-term travel. All EU Member States agree that the removal of restrictions on non-essential travel must be done on a gradual and coordinated issue as soon as the epidemiological situation allows, said the head of delegation. The two agreements do not apply to Denmark or Ireland.
Belarus is informed of the conclusions of these agreements, which come into force on the first day of the second month following the notification.