Minister Ahern announces €60,538 grant for Belarusian European Humanities University
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Dermot Ahern T.D., today announced a grant of €60,538 to support the work of the European Humanities University International in Vilnius, Lithuania, including the development of links with the University of Limerick. The grant will be used to support the university's Visual Design and Media BA program.
Making the announcement the Minister said:
“I am pleased to be able to continue Ireland's commitment to the work of the European Humanities University International (EHU). Ireland supports the University's aims of promoting dialogue between Eastern and Western European cultures and facilitating the development of civil society in Belarus. Last December we provided funding for the University's distance learning programme. On this occasion the focus is on media training which is extremely timely considering the current repression of much of the independent media sector within Belarus.
The EU and Ireland must follow through on promises to step up practical support for civil society and democratisation in Belarus. The EHU played an important role in higher education in Belarus up until 2004 when it was forced into exile. It remains an important provider of unbiased education to Belarusians from its new home in Lithuania.”
May 22, 2006
Note for editors:
The EHU was founded in Belarus in 1992, but was forced to close by the Belarus authorities in summer 2004. Since autumn 2004, the university, renamed as EHU International, has been headquartered in Vilnius, Lithuania. In the Autumn of 2005, EHU began to run face-to-face BA and MA programs there. Strong links have been forged with the University of Limerick and EHU is planning to reopen its MA degree program in business and economics in collaboration with UL.
The President of the EHU, Professor Anatoli Mikhailov, will visit Ireland from 23-26 May. He will meet with Minister of State Treacy give a speech at the Institute of European Affairs and meet representatives of Trinity College and University of Limerick to discuss possible future cooperation with them.
The General Affairs and External Relations Council, in its Conclusions on Belarus of 10 April, introduced a visa ban on 31 members of the Belarusian leadership and officials, as an appropriate first response to the flawed March 19 Presidential elections, and the vicious crackdown on peaceful democratic protestors. It also confirmed the EU's determination to intensify its support for democratisation and Human Rights in Belarus.