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On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court, Mr Pier Antonio Panzeri made the following statement:

“17 July is the Day of International Criminal Justice. It marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute on 17 July 1998, the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court, the ICC.

The ICC is the world’s first permanent, international criminal court. It was established to investigate the most serious crimes, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes whenever national jurisdictions are unable or unwilling to do so genuinely. Thanks to the ICC, perpetrators of such atrocity crimes can no longer count on impunity. In return, victims now can have hope that the ICC will bring them justice in their name.

The European Parliament has expressed its support for the ICC in numerous resolutions and notably called on the states which have not yet done so to ratify the Rome Statute. I reiterate these expressions of support and offer my best wishes to the Court for the success of this vital work.

However, the European Parliament is also aware that ending impunity is not the preserve of the ICC, but is a shared responsibility with national jurisdictions. The European Parliament has notably stressed the importance of universal jurisdiction for an effective international criminal justice system. Universal jurisdiction allows for investigation and eventually prosecution of atrocity crimes anywhere in the world, irrespective of the location of the crime and the nationality of the perpetrator or the victim. The EU should promote universal jurisdiction within the EU and in its external relations as part of a comprehensive strategy for ensuring accountability.

In this context I welcome the initiative for a new multilateral treaty for mutual legal assistance and extradition for the domestic prosecution of atrocity crimes, supported already by more than 60 states.

On the occasion of the Day of International Criminal Justice I also would like to reiterate the European Parliament’s call on the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to appoint an EU Special Representative on International Humanitarian Law and International Justice with a mandate to promote, mainstream and represent the EU’s commitment to the fight against impunity and to the ICC across EU foreign policies.”




Office of MEP Pier Antonio PANZERI