Motion for a resolution - B6-0169/2009Motion for a resolution



to wind up the debate on statements by the Council and Commission
pursuant to Rule 103(2) of the Rules of Procedure
by Gisela Kallenbach, László Tőkés and placeCityMilan Horáček
on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
on European conscience and totalitarianism

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B6-0165/2009

Procedure : 2009/2557(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
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European Parliament resolution on European conscience and totalitarianism

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its many previous resolutions on democracy and respect for fundamental rights and freedoms, including that of 11 May 2005 on the future of Europe sixty years after the Second World War[1], that of 23 October 2008on commemorating the victims of the Holodomor[2] , and that of 15 January 2009 on Srebrenica[3],

–  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 Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA of 28 November 2008 on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law[4],

–  having regard to the Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism of 3 June 2008,

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

A.  whereas the memories of placeEurope’s tragic past must be kept alive in order to honour the victims, condemn the perpetrators and lay the foundations of reconciliation based on truth and remembrance,

B.  whereas from the outset European integration has been a response to the suffering inflicted by two world wars and the Nazi tyranny that led to the Holocaust, and to the expansion of totalitarian and undemocratic communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as a way of overcoming deep divisions and hostility in Europe through cooperation and integration and of ending war and securing democracy in Europe,

C.  whereas the process of European integration has been successful and has now led to a European Union that encompasses the countries of Central and Eastern Europe which lived under communist regimes from the end of World War II until the early 1990s, and whereas the earlier accessions of Greece, Spain and Portugal helped secure democracy in the south of Europe,

D.  whereas the core objective of the construction of the European Union is to guarantee respect for fundamental rights and the rule of law in the future, and whereas appropriate mechanisms for the enforcement of this goal have been provided for in Articles 6 and 7 of the Treaty on European Union,

E.  whereas from the perspective of the victims, it makes no difference by which regime they were deprived of their liberty, tortured or murdered,

1.  Expresses respect for all victims of totalitarian and undemocratic regimes in placeEurope and pays tribute to those who fought against tyranny and oppression;

2.  Notes that all these regimes regarded state violence as an acceptable, preferred and effective means of retaining absolute control over their citizens; recalls that these regimes often resorted to extreme forms of terror, stifling all civil and human liberties, starting aggressive wars and, as an integral part of their ideologies, exterminating, crushing and crippling whole nations and population groups on racial, social and political grounds, and that, as such, they should be seen as the main moral, political and social disasters that blighted the 20th century;

3.  Renews its commitment to a peaceful and prosperous Europe founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights;

4.  Underlines the importance of keeping the memories of the past alive, because there can be no reconciliation without remembrance; reconfirms its united stand against all totalitarian rule from whatever ideological background;

5.  Recalls that the most recent acts of genocide and crimes against humanity in placeEurope took place as late as July 1995 and that constant vigilance is needed to fight undemocratic, xenophobic, authoritarian and totalitarian ideas and tendencies;

6.  Underlines that, in order to strengthen European awareness of crimes committed by totalitarian and undemocratic regimes, documentation of and testimony to Europe’s troubled past must be supported, as there can be no reconciliation without remembering;

7.  Calls, in this connection, on the Council and the Commission to support and defend the activities of NGOs such as Memorial in the Russian Federation that are actively engaged in researching and collecting documents related to the crimes committed during the Stalinist period;

8.  Regrets that 20 years after the collapse of the communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe, access to documents that are of personal relevance or needed for scientific research is still unduly restricted in some Member States; calls for a genuine effort in all Member States towards opening up archives, including those of the former internal security services, secret police and intelligence agencies;

9.  Strongly and unequivocally condemns the crimes against humanity and massive human rights violations committed by the totalitarian communist regimes; expresses sympathy, understanding and recognition of their suffering to the victims of these crimes and their family members;

10.  Declares that European integration as a model of peace and reconciliation represents a free choice by the peoples of Europe to commit to a shared future, and that the European Union has a particular responsibility to promote and safeguard democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law, both inside and outside the European Union;

11.  Calls on the Commission and the PlaceNameplaceMemberPlaceType States to make further efforts to achieve a common understanding of European history and to underline the historic achievement of European integration and the stark contrast between the tragic past and the peaceful and democratic societal order in today’s European Union;

12.  Believes that, in order for historical memory to be appropriately preserved, a comprehensive reassessment of European history and Europe-wide recognition of all historical aspects of modern Europe is necessary and unavoidable, and will strengthen European integration, since a better future can only be built through a better understanding of the shared past, serving also to eliminate the possibility of totalitarian regimes being regenerated;

13.  Calls for the proclamation of a Europe-wide Remembrance Day for victims of all totalitarian and undemocratic regimes, to be commemorated with dignity and impartiality, and calls on all the EU governments to establish 23 August, the day when the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact was signed in 1939, as the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Nazism and Stalinism;

14.  Reiterates its consistent support for strengthened international justice, with regard in particular to the valuable work of the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court;

15.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the parliaments of the Member States, the governments and parliaments of the candidate countries, the governments and parliaments of the countries associated with the European Union, and the governments and parliaments of the Members of the Council of Europe.