The Commission's Report on the memory of the crimes committed by totalitarian regimes in Europe (COM(2010)0783
) contains good proposals on how to preserve and promote the memory at EU level. The Commission also states that this issue will be kept under review, which is of utmost importance.
Reconciliation of European Histories is important for the solidarity and unity of the EU, as also stressed in the letter to Commissioner Reding signed by six Foreign Affairs Ministers (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania) and another signed by the Estonian and Polish Ministers of Justice. What steps are envisaged to be taken by the Presidency to ensure implementation of the recommendations contained in the Report? Does the Presidency plan to have a discussion on the issue at the Justice and Home Affairs Council? How does the Presidency plan to encourage a discussion and sharing of experiences and best practices in order to keep alive the memory of atrocities committed by totalitarian regimes?
The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the February 2011 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
1. welcomes the Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the memory of the crimes committed by totalitarian regimes in Europe published 22/12/2010;
2. aligns itself with the approach taken by the Commission;
3. stresses the importance of keeping the memory of the crimes committed by the totalitarian regimes alive at the level of the European Union by encouraging common efforts for the education and awareness raising of European citizens through the “Europe for Citizens” programme as well as other, e.g. financial, programmes of the European Union;
4. underlines the significance of a Europe-wide Day of Remembrance;
5. undertakes to put it on the agenda at the next meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs ministers where the Commission’s Report will be presented.