Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B6-0164/2009

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 02/04/2009 - 9.20
CRE 02/04/2009 - 9.20

Texts adopted :

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25 March 2009
to wind up the debate on statements by the Council and Commission
pursuant to Rule 103(2) of the Rules of Procedure
by Martin Schulz, Hannes Swoboda, Jan Marinus Wiersma, Helmut Kuhne, Miguel Angel Martínez Martínez, Justas Vincas Paleckis and Józef Pinior
on behalf of the PSE Group
on European conscience and totalitarianism

European Parliament resolution on European conscience and totalitarianism 

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Articles 6 and 7 of the Treaty on European Union,

–  having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA of 28 November 2008 on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law,

–  having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas historians agree that fully objective interpretations of historical facts are not possible and objective historical narratives do not exist; whereas, nevertheless, professional historians use scientific tools to study the past and, in so doing, try to be as impartial as possible,

B.  whereas no political body or political party has a monopoly on interpreting history and such bodies and parties cannot claim to be objective,

C.  whereas official political interpretations of historical facts should not be imposed by means of majority decisions of parliaments; whereas a parliament cannot determine how the past is seen by means of legislation,

D.  whereas one of the core objectives of the European integration process is to ensure respect for fundamental rights and the rule of law in the future, and whereas appropriate mechanisms for achieving this goal have been provided by Articles 6 and 7 of the Treaty on European Union,

E.  whereas misinterpretations of history can fuel exclusivist policies and thereby incite hatred and racism,

F.  whereas millions of victims were deported, imprisoned, tortured and murdered by totalitarian and authoritarian regimes during the 20th century in Europe; whereas the 20th century history of Europe is very complex and ambivalent, as are people’s memories of it,

G.  whereas although enormous progress has been made in unifying East and West in institutional and economic terms, the unification of memory still has to happen,

H.  whereas decisions on the commemoration of past events must not become the subject of political disputes; whereas politicians should ask historians for independent advice and encourage open debate about differing historical interpretations of given events,

I.  whereas the dominant historical experience of Western Europe was Nazism, whereas the countries of Central Europe had the added experience of Communism, and whereas understanding has to be promoted for these countries’ double legacy of dictatorship,

J.  whereas most historians agree that Nazism and Stalinism were essentially different, despite certain similarities, although from the perspective of the victims it makes no difference which regime deprived them of their liberty or tortured or murdered them for whatever reason,

1.  Calls for the proclamation of a European-wide Remembrance Day for the victims of all totalitarian regimes, especially Nazism and Stalinism, to be celebrated with dignity and impartiality; calls on the committee of experts for the House of European History to come forward with proposals for a suitable date which would serve to remind the citizens of Europe about the dangers of totalitarianism;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

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