We deplore the authoritarian government led by Aleksandr Lukashenka and its repression of young activists. We recognise the protests sparked by recent elections and wholeheartedly support the rights of the Belarusian people to self-determination and self-governance. We therefore call upon the European Union, its Member States and the MOs of LYMEC to increase cooperation and communication with civil society in Belarus, especially with the democratic opposition in and outside the country. Additionally, we urge the EU to apply targeted sanctions on Lukashenka and those surrounding him. Finally, we call upon the EU to provide visas and asylum status to victims of the regime whose lives and liberties are under threat.
We regret the decision taken by the United Kingdom to withdraw from the Erasmus+ programme, particularly as this withdrawal contradicted a pledge by the UK Government that UK universities would continue to participate in the scheme. Additionally, the Brexit process resulted in the UK withdrawing from the European Medicines Agency, Europol and Euratom. While recognising that Brexit is unlikely to be reversed in the foreseeable future, we at LYMEC nevertheless call on the EU and the UK to construct and maintain the closest possible relationship, in particular one that involves the UK re-joining Erasmus+, Europol and Euratom, as none of these schemes require EU membership as a prerequisite. We urge both sides to come to a resolution on the democratic deficit in Northern Ireland, and to respect and protect the rights of UK citizens living in the EU and EU citizens living in the UK.