Motion for a resolution - B8-0346/2015Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the commemoration of the centenary of the Armenian Genocide

13.4.2015 - (2015/2590(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission
pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Neoklis Sylikiotis, Barbara Spinelli, Curzio Maltese, Patrick Le Hyaric, Younous Omarjee, Fabio De Masi, Josu Juaristi Abaunz, Miloslav Ransdorf, Kostas Chrysogonos, Kostadinka Kuneva, Lidia Senra Rodríguez, Martina Michels on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0342/2015

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


The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the Charter of the United Nations,

–       having regard to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948,

–       having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 16 December 1966,

–       having regard to its resolution of 18 June 1987 on a political solution to the Armenian question[1], which recognised the Armenian Genocide,

–       having regard to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Resolution of 24 April 1998, which commemorated ‘the first genocide of the 20th century’ and the ‘crime against humanity’ committed against the Armenian people,

–       having regard to its resolution of 12 March 2015 on the Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2013 and the EU policy on the matter[2], and particularly paragraph 77 thereof,

–       having regard to the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 9 December 1948,

–       having regard to the UN Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity of 26 November 1968,

–       having regard to its resolution of 15 November 2000 on Turkey’s progress towards accession[3],

–       having regard to its resolution of 28 September 2005 on the opening of negotiations with Turkey[4],

–       having regard to resolutions and statements by legislative bodies and governments of a number of EU Member States, as well as of other states,

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

A.     whereas 2015 marks the centennial of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated in the Ottoman Empire following a decision to annihilate Armenians, resulting in the death of 1.5 million people;

B.     whereas this genocide, which included dispossessions, massacres, ethnic cleansing and destruction of Armenian heritage, also had profound long-term effects on refugee populations, especially on the European continent;

C.     whereas the European Parliament, in its resolution of 18 June 1987, recognised that the tragic events 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 adopted by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1948;

D.     whereas, to date, the Turkish Government has refused to recognise the 1915 genocide, and by doing so is refusing to come to terms with part of the country’s history, thus not taking lessons from its own history;

E.     whereas in recent years in Turkey activists, journalists and writers, among others, have spoken out in favour of recognition by Turkey of the Armenian Genocide; whereas this is still considered a punishable act under the Turkish Constitution; whereas some, such as the journalist Hrant Dink, have paid for the denunciation of the genocide with their lives;

F.     whereas the UN recognised the Armenian Genocide in 1985, and a number of countries and parliaments, including EU Member States, have also done so;

G.     whereas recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the Turkish Government would contribute to a relaxation of tensions and an improvement in bilateral relations between Turkey and Armenia;

1.      Participates in the commemoration of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide and honours the memory of the 1.5 million innocent civilians who perished;

2.      Calls on the parliaments and governments of the EU Member States and on civil society to join in the commemoration of this centennial; points out that participating in the commemoration would contribute to stopping the conspiracy of silence imposed by Turkey over this genocide, as well as over the treatment of the Kurdish population in the country, the continuing occupation of Cyprus and the encouragement of, and involvement in, the crisis in Syria;

3.      Calls on Turkey to use the 100th anniversary to recognise the Armenian Genocide perpetuated by the Ottoman Empire and to come to terms with this part of the country’s history, as only the truth will allow the country to truly democratise and move ahead without this burden, and to develop good-neighbourly relations with Armenia;

4.      Calls on the Turkish authorities to open all archives that will provide historians, academics and researchers with the opportunity to shed light on those tragic events and to start a genuinely transparent debate at all levels with a view to overcoming the policy of silence and recognising the genocide;

5.      Encourages governments and parliaments to express respect for the victims and to recognise the Armenian Genocide as constituting a dark page in the history of world civilization;

6.      Considers that history, including the Armenian Genocide, should be taught in its true light in order to avoid its repetition;

7.      Proposes that a remembrance day for the Armenian Genocide be established;

8.      Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the EU Member States, the President and Parliament of Armenia, and the President, Government and Parliament of Turkey.