Backing for Belarussian exile university

The Nordic Council of Ministers and the EU Commission have signed an agreement this week to run a project to provide backing for the Belarussian university, European Humanities University (EHU). The last independent university in Belarus, EHU was closed by the authorities in Minsk in July 2004 and is now based in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.
Per Unckel, the Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, emphasised that backing for the university represents support for democracy and human rights in Belarus. Support for EHU is also part of a broader Nordic commitment to Belarus. Another example is the cross-border regional project Baltic Euro-Regional Network, which also covers border areas in Belarus. Both projects are close partnerships between the EU and the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The new funding for EHU will allow 350 students from Belarus to study a number of subjects and gain recognised European qualifications. The funding from the EU Commission is being channelled through its programme European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights. The new three-year project has a budget of approximately DKK 20 million. As well as the EU and the Nordic Council of Ministers, Finland and Sweden are also providing bilateral aid to the project.

Photo: Magnus Fröderberg/
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