Procedure : 2015/2590(RSP)
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Document selected : B8-0343/2015

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PV 15/04/2015 - 16.5
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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0342/2015

to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on a European commemoration of the centenary of the Armenian Genocide (2015/2590(RSP))

Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Laura Agea, Rolandas Paksas, Robert Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, Ignazio Corrao on behalf of the EFDD Group

European Parliament resolution on a European commemoration of the centenary of the Armenian Genocide (2015/2590(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to its previous resolutions of 28 September 2005(1) , 28 February 2002(2), 15 November 2000(3), 18 June 1987(4) and 2 April 2009(5) on European conscience and totalitarianism,

–       having regard to the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948,

–       having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas one of the main motivations for the European unification movement is the will to prevent the recurrence of wars and crimes against humanity in Europe;

B.     whereas the European Parliament formally recognised in its resolution of 18 June 1987 that the tragic events that took place in 1915-1917 involving the Armenians living in the territory of the Ottoman Empire constitute genocide within the meaning of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide;

C.     whereas the European Parliament stressed in its resolution of 2 April 2009 the importance of keeping the memories of the past alive, since there can be no reconciliation without truth and remembrance;

D.     whereas this genocide has had profound long-term effects on refugee populations, especially in the European Union;

E.     whereas the Armenian Genocide assumes even greater significance in the context of the commemorations of the centenary of the First World War;

F.     whereas Turkey ratified the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in 1950;

G.     whereas the Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, resulting in the deportation of nearly 2 000 000 Armenians, of whom 1 500 000 men, women, and children were killed, while 500 000 survivors were expelled from their homes, and succeeding in the elimination of the over 2 500‑year presence of Armenians in their historic homeland;

H.     whereas on 24 May 1915 the Allied Powers – Britain, France, and Russia – jointly issued a statement explicitly charging for the first time ever another government with committing ‘a crime against humanity’; whereas this joint statement stated ‘in view of these new crimes of Turkey against humanity and civilisation, the Allied Governments announce publicly to the Sublime Porte that they will hold personally responsible for these crimes all members of the Ottoman Government, as well as those of their agents who are implicated in such massacres’;

I.      whereas post-World War I, the Turkish Government indicted the top leaders involved in the ‘organisation and execution’ of the Armenian Genocide and in the ‘massacre and destruction of the Armenians’;

J.      whereas in a series of courts-martial, officials of the Young Turk Regime were tried and convicted as charged of organising and executing massacres against the Armenian people; whereas the chief organisers of the Armenian Genocide, Minister of War Enver, Minister of the Interior Talaat, and Minister of the Navy Djemal, were all condemned to death for their crimes, but the verdicts of the courts were not enforced;

K.     whereas Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term ‘genocide’ in 1944, and who was the earliest proponent of the UN Genocide Convention, invoked the Armenian case as a definitive example of genocide in the twentieth century;

L.     whereas the first resolution on genocide adopted by the United Nations at Lemkin’s urging, UN General Assembly Resolution 96(1) of 11 December 1946, and the United Nations Genocide Convention itself recognised the Armenian Genocide as the type of crime the United Nations intended to prevent by codifying existing standards;

1.      Condemns the genocidal acts against the Armenian people planned and continuously perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire and various regimes in Turkey between 1894 and 1923, the dispossession of the homeland, the massacres and ethnic cleansing aimed at the extermination of the Armenian population, the destruction of the Armenian heritage and the denial of the genocide, all attempts to avoid responsibility and to consign to oblivion the crimes committed and their consequences;

2.      Joins the commemoration of the centenary of the Armenian Genocide in a spirit of European brotherhood, solidarity and justice; commemorates the 1.5 million innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide, and bows in gratitude to those martyred and surviving heroes who struggled for their lives and for human dignity;

3.      Commends the acts of freedom and courage of all those ‘righteous’ individuals, both Ottomans and foreigners, who by endangering their lives and freedom sought to save Armenians subjected to the genocidal action in the Ottoman Empire;

4.      Invites the VP/HR, civil society, elected and unelected officials, associations and the media to also join in this commemoration and to unite their efforts in restoring historical justice and paying tribute to the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide;

5.      Calls on the Commission and the Council, as representatives of the EU institutions, to join Parliament in marking this centenary in order to more coherently enact the fundamental goal of the prevention of genocides and crimes against humanity;

6.      Thanks all those who contributed and keep contributing to the formal recognition and memory of the Armenian Genocide, in a spirit of openness and solidarity, and invites them to carry on in this direction; expresses its strong support for the commitment of Armenia and the Armenian people to continuing the international struggle for the prevention of genocides, the legal recognition of the genocide, the restoration of the rights of people subjected to genocide and the establishment of historical justice;

7.      Proposes that a European remembrance day for the genocide be established, in order to recall again the right of all peoples, without any racial or religious prejudice, and all nations throughout the world to peace and dignity;

8.      Recalls that denials of the Armenian Genocide and other crimes against humanity, as well as acts of racism, xenophobia and religious hatred, constitute a clear violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and as such should be condemned;

9.      Calls, ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, on all the Member States legally to acknowledge it, and encourages the Member States and the EU institutions to contribute further to its recognition;

10.    Invites Turkey to face history and officially recognise the Armenian Genocide and its attendant dispossession, to seek redemption and make restitution appropriate to an aspiring European country, including, but not limited to, ensuring a right of return of the Armenian people to, and a secure reconnection with, their national home – all flowing from the fundamental imperative of achieving reconciliation through the truth;

11.    Calls on the Government of Turkey to respect and fully implement the legal obligations which it has undertaken, including those provisions that relate to the protection of cultural heritage and, in particular, to conduct in good faith an integrated inventory of Armenian, Greek, Assyrian and other cultural heritage as destroyed or ruined during the past century, and on the basis thereof to develop a strategy of priority restoration of ancient and medieval capital cities, churches, schools, fortresses, cemeteries and other treasures located in historic Western Armenia, and to render the aforementioned cultural and religious institutions fully operational;

12.    Calls on the Government of Turkey to recognise and condemn the Armenian Genocide and to launch the long-awaited celebration of the Armenian national legacy on the basis of a total Turkish-Armenian normalisation anchored in the assumption of the burden of history, the peaceful resolution of all outstanding matters, and a complete Europeanisation of their relationship that will serve as a starting point for the historical reconciliation of the Armenian and Turkish peoples;

13.    Calls on the Government of Turkey to revive and ratify, together with Armenia, the two protocols on Establishment of Diplomatic Relations and Normalisation of Relations signed in Zurich on 9 October 2009;

14.    Recalls that official recognition of the Armenian Genocide also restores dignity to the descendants of the Armenian victims and survivors; recalls that the last act of a genocide is its denial;

15.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the EU Member States, the Government of Turkey, the Government of Armenia and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security.


OJ C 227 E, 21.9.2006, p. 163.


OJ C 293 E, 28.11.2002, p. 89.


OJ C 223, 8.8.2001, p. 182.


OJ C 190, 20.7.1987, p. 119.


OJ C 137 E, 27.5.2010, p. 25.

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