EU-STRAT researchers, Dr. Antoaneta Dimitrova, Dr. Honorata Mazepus, Dr. Tatsiana Chulitskaya and Natallia Rabava, presented the project to the EC Office in Minsk in January 2019. From the EC side, the group was headed by the newly appointed Minister Counsellor, Head of Cooperation Berend de Groot. Five other EC colleagues were also present at the meeting.
Dr. Dimitrova presented the project and described the main points of its research on state capacity, with Dr. Chulitskaya outlining the main findings regarding Belarus and Ukraine. Following this discussion, the results of the team’s paper on soft power and communication strategies of the EU and Russia were also presented. The paper was met with great interest, and the EC representatives asked for recommendations on how to change their communications effort in order to be more visible for the Belarusian citizens.