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Debates
Friday, 10 July 2020 - Brussels Revised edition

6. Commemorating Srebrenica - 25 years anniversary (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  Elnök asszony. – Most a viták következnek.

Tájékoztatom a képviselőket, hogy e vita során egy fordulóban a képviselőcsoportok egy-egy tagja szólalhat fel, és nem kerül sor „catch the eye” eljárásra és kékkártyás kérdésekre.

A következő napirendi pont: A Bizottság nyilatkozata – Megemlékezés Srebrenica 25. évfordulójáról (2020/2705(RSP)).

Megadom a szót a bizottság nevében Várhelyi Olivérnek.

 
  
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  Olivér Várhelyi, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, today we are remembering one of the darkest days of modern European history, and one of the most tragic crimes committed in Europe since the Second World War.

In July 1995, over 8 372 Muslim men and boys were deliberately and systematically killed by the Bosnian Serb forces in the UN safe area of Srebrenica, a town that they thought to be safe in the war that was ravaging Bosnia and Herzegovina. Their bodies were thrown in mass graves, facing the ground, with their hands tied.

As the last victims of Srebrenica are buried in dignity, our hearts and thoughts are once again with them and with the survivors, the families and friends. We remember and honour the victims, and we extend our sympathy to all those who are grieving. May they find healing for their enduring pain.

Europe has not forgotten what happened in Srebrenica or our own responsibility for not being able to prevent and stop the genocide. In Srebrenica, Europe failed, and we are faced with our shame. Indeed, the Srebrenica genocide remains an open wound at the heart of Europe. It continues to haunt us. It continues to remind us of our shared responsibility to prevent genocide from ever happening again. It is therefore our duty to remember Srebrenica forever.

It is also our duty to ensure accountability. Justice must be served, and all those responsible for the massacre must face the consequences of their actions. Twenty-five years on, it is more urgent than ever to end impunity for the perpetrators of war crimes. The massacre in Srebrenica was recognised as an act of genocide by two different international courts: the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in 2004, and the International Court of Justice in 2006.

These established facts about what happened in Srebrenica need to be acknowledged. Any attempt at denial and revisionism are unacceptable. Political leaders have a great responsibility in that regard. They need to choose the truth, justice and cooperation over fear and hate to overcome the tragic legacies of the past and build a brighter and prosperous future for the next generations.

The leaders of the region must take full ownership and lead by example. There is no place in the EU for inflammatory rhetoric, let alone for the glorification of war criminals from any side. Political leaders must be dedicated to bring their citizens, especially young people, together around a common vision of the future, built on trust, mutual understanding and respect for one another.

Civil society’s contribution to such a future is fundamental. It plays a vital role in nurturing a democratic culture of remembrance in the Western Balkans and throughout Europe, especially for the benefit of the young generation. It is up to all of us in Europe to learn the lessons of Srebrenica. The values so brutally violated 25 years ago – the respect for human life and the respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy and equality – are now at the core of our engagement with Bosnia and Herzegovina and its citizens.

The Commission continues to uphold these values in its relations with all of the Western Balkan countries. Implementing the rulings and decisions of international tribunals and promoting an environment conducive to reconciliation in order to overcome the legacies of the war are key elements for all countries in the region to progress towards EU accession.

This is essentially actively promoting reconciliation at all levels to secure, for the long term, the daily life of each citizen. It also entails providing redress to victims of war crime, rape and torture, supporting the return of refugees and displaced persons, and allowing the families of missing persons to achieve closure to their grief.

The European Union will continue to support Bosnia and Herzegovina to advance on its European path, establishing a society where pluralism, justice and human dignity prevail. Through the accession process, the EU will continue to accompany the Western Balkans towards reconciliation and regional cooperation to build a peaceful and prosperous future for all the people of the region.

Acknowledging our past will help us to move forward. Indeed, without reconciliation there will be no long-term peace, stability and prosperity in the Western Balkans. This is why I call on the Western Balkans to work in this direction, to heal the wounds of the past and deliver a common Europe.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President. Never again! Never again! Never again! I would like to dedicate this cry, this shout, this desperate message to all Bosnian citizens – with no exception of ethnicity, religion or belief – and to all European citizens that in the past have experienced the horror and the hell of genocide. To put it better: to all humanity.

The sacrifice of Srebrenica is not only the tragedy of Bosnia and Herzegovina; it is the denial of humanity. Whenever and wherever there is a genocide, a massacre, a massive and systematic killing of innocent people, there is the denial of humanity, the refusal of human dignity – there is Srebrenica. All genocides, but especially the one of Srebrenica, demand truth and justice, which are the essence of human respect. Truth is not compatible with denial. Justice is not reconcilable with impunity.

On behalf of the European citizens, who we represent, I want to show our deepest sorrow and our most profound shame to all the victims of the Srebrenica genocide, to all the survivors and families, to all Bosnians – I dare say, to all humanity. There were those directly responsible for this massacre, but the failure of the international community and of the European Union is unforgivable.

Survivors and families, you are the witnesses and the victims of the darkest instincts of human beings. Without you, and without your thirst for justice, there can be no reconciliation. But you are also the hope of a peaceful and prosperous future for Bosnia and Herzegovina, for all Bosnian citizens.

 
  
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  Tonino Picula, u ime kluba S&D. – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, s dubokom tugom i osobitim pijetetom prema žrtvama, danas govorimo o najvećoj tragediji na europskom kontinentu od Drugog svjetskog rata - genocidu u Srebrenici.

 

Prošlo je punih 25 godina, ali sjećanja na strašne prizore i dalje snažno žive u nama. Prije pet godina Europski parlament je donio posebnu Rezoluciju o genocidu u Srebrenici.

 

Utjehe za one koji su izgubili najmilije nema ni nakon svih ovih godina. No, kao što je važno identificirati ostatke žrtava zločina, za njihove obitelji jednako je važno jasno identificirati zločin i zločince. Sudovi u Haagu, Bosni i Hercegovini, Srbiji i Hrvatskoj osudili su 47 optuženih na više od 700 godina zatvorskih kazni zbog sudjelovanja u genocidu počinjenom u Srebrenici.

 

Da, zločin u Srebrenici je genocid i tako ga treba zvati. Imamo presude Međunarodnog kaznenog suda za bivšu Jugoslaviju i Međunarodnog suda pravde.

 

Ali protokom vremena samo će jačati naša obveza da zaštitimo žrtve i njihove obitelji od programiranog zaborava u režiji političkog inženjeringa. A takvih pokušaja ima i bit će ih još; od dodjele Nobelove nagrade onima koji negiraju genocid do kampanja dezinformiranja sponzoriranih od raznih autoritarnih režima.

Ne smijemo dopustiti zločinu da naknadno trijumfira. To dugujemo žrtvama Srebrenice, ali i žrtvama s Ovčare i drugih masovnih stratišta na prostorima gdje je velikosrpski projekt ostavljao svoj zločinački trag. Samo obrana istine o prošlosti otvara bolju budućnost generacijama koje dolaze.

 

Bogatstvo Bosne i Hercegovine je njeno multi-etničko društvo. Nažalost, političke strukture stvorene u ratnim vremenima često usporavanju istinski napredak te države. Njene posebnosti, različite nacionalnosti, kulture i vjere zaslužuju puno uvažavanje, a njihova ravnopravnost je najbolji zalog za europsku budućnost u Bosni i Hercegovini.

 

Jasnu perspektivu članstva Bosne i Hercegovine u Europskoj uniji dugujemo žrtvama Srebrenice, ali i mladima koji će, vjerujem, u miru i prosperitetu živjeti ujedinjeni u različitosti kao građani Europske unije.

 
  
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  Valter Flego, u ime kluba Renew. – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, poštovani povjereniče, 25 godina prošlo je najstrašnijeg ratnog zločina na europskom tlu od završetka Drugog svjetskog rata, od genocida u Srebrenici.

Nitko, ali baš nitko, nema za pravo uzimati si i negirati genocid u Srebrenici i relativizirati povijest. I zato danas iskreno žalim što nije bilo političke volje i hrabrosti za ponovnim donošenjem rezolucije o Srebrenici uoči 25. obljetnice ove velike tragedije. To neosuđivanje ratnog zločina je veliki civilizacijski poraz ovog saziva Europskog parlamenta i najmanje što dugujemo žrtvama i njihovim obiteljima jest garancija da ćemo učiniti apsolutno sve što je u našoj moći da se takvi stravični zločini nikada više ne ponove.

Svi mi dužni smo inzistirati na pravdi i odbacivati svaku politiku koja dijeli, koja osuđuje, koja isključuje. S ljudskim životima, boli i patnjom nema kompromisa i nema špekulacija. U sjećanje na žrtve srebreničkog zločina danas nosim ovaj srebrenički cvijet, simbol stradavanja, podsjetnik na sve zlo ekstremističkog nacionalizma i opasnosti etničke mržnje, podsjetnik na najcrnji dio europske povijesti i želim da ovaj srebrenički cvijet bude simbol istinske vjere u bolju sadašnjost, u jednu zdraviju budućnost u kojoj nitko neće izgubiti život zbog svoje različitosti, zbog pripadnosti nekoj drugoj vjeri ili naciji.

Zato snažno osuđujem srebrenički genocid u srpnju 1995. godine i pozivam vas sve da učinite isto.

 
  
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  Dominique Bilde, au nom du groupe ID. – Madame la Présidente, Srebrenica est l’épisode le plus tragique de la guerre de Bosnie.

Sur le plan pénal, les peines infligées ont été lourdes. Sur le plan international, l’ensemble des responsabilités ne semblent pas assez clairement établies. Sur le plan politique, enfin, il est notable que la Serbie, non impliquée légalement dans ce drame, n’en a pas moins exprimé des excuses publiques en 2010. De même, le président de la République serbe de Bosnie a-t-il déploré dès 2004 l’une des pages les plus sombres de l’histoire de son peuple. Signe des tensions encore à vif, c’est malheureusement par des jets de pierres qu’Aleksandar Vučič, alors Premier ministre de la Serbie, était accueilli aux commémorations de juillet 2015.

S’il faudra encore de longues années pour parvenir à une mémoire apaisée, nous devons, de notre côté, nous garder de toute interprétation politique hasardeuse. En effet, les atrocités de la guerre ne sauraient justifier l’ostracisme subi aujourd’hui par la République serbe de Bosnie, ou bien des violations de ses droits garantis par l’accord de Dayton. Elles ne justifient pas davantage un parti pris de principe quant au peuple serbe, dont nous n’oublions pas le tribut immense payé lors des deux conflits mondiaux.

En particulier, alors que nous célébrons les 75 ans de la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, rendons aussi hommage aux 1,7 million de Yougoslaves tombés au prix des mouvements de résistance les plus spectaculaires d’Europe. Nous n’oublions pas non plus que, de la ville de Glina au camp de Jasenovac, ce peuple héroïque a appris, avant tant d’autres, le sens du mot génocide.

La mémoire de Srebrenica doit aujourd’hui être celle de ces milliers de victimes et de leurs familles qui vivent encore aujourd’hui emplies de souvenirs d’un être aimé, d’un mari, d’un frère ou d’un père que, pour certains, ils n’auront jamais connu. Gravée dans le sang, elle doit être aussi celle de ces hommes assassinés et de ces femmes meurtries au-delà des clivages nationaux et partisans.

 
  
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  Romeo Franz, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Am 11. Juli 1995, vor 25 Jahren, nahmen bosnisch-serbische Truppen die Stadt Srebrenica ein und ermordeten über 8 000 bosniakische Männer und Jungen.

Dieser Völkermord, dieser Genozid im Herzen Europas, geschah unter den Augen der Weltöffentlichkeit, und wir müssen uns der Frage immer wieder stellen: Wie konnte das möglich sein? Dieses Versagen lastet auf der Europäischen Union als das größte politische Versagen nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg. Daher nehmen wir den Jahrestag zum Anlass, um voller Scham und Trauer der Opfer dieses Verbrechens zu gedenken.

Doch damit sich die Geschehnisse in Srebrenica nie wiederholen, müssen wir wachsam bleiben, denn 25 Jahre nach dem Friedensabkommen von Dayton sind auch heute noch Hass und Nationalismus gefährliche Brandbeschleuniger, die zur Spaltung der Gesellschaft und zur Destabilisierung von Bosnien und Herzegowina, aber auch vielen anderen Ländern in Europa beitragen. Jegliche politischen Bestrebungen nach vermeintlich ethnisch reinen Gebieten müssen von der EU unmissverständlich in die Schranken gewiesen werden.

Antrieb für dieses detaillierte geplante Verbrechen war reiner Rassismus. Dieser ist keine serbische oder bosnische Erfindung. Um die Vergangenheit aufarbeiten zu können, dürfen die Kriegsverbrechen an Männern, Frauen und Kindern nicht verdrängt oder geleugnet werden, denn sie haben tiefe Traumata hinterlassen. Eine rigorose Strafverfolgung der Verbrechen, das konsequente Vorgehen gehen Genozid-Leugnung und gegen Verherrlichung von Kriegsverbrechern sind ebenso essenziell wie die Entwicklung einer gemeinsamen Erinnerungskultur.

Noch immer prägen unterschiedliche Narrative und Stereotype das Geschichtsbild. Bildung ist wichtig, damit Wissen, Erinnerung und Vermächtnisse von Konflikten an die nächste Generation weitergegeben werden. Regionale Versöhnung ist der Schlüssel zu Frieden und Wandel. Gerade bei vielen jungen Menschen hat die EU mit ihren Werten nichts von ihrer Strahlkraft eingebüßt, daher muss die EU Bosnien und Herzegowina in den Beitrittsbemühungen unterstützen und die demokratischen Kräfte stärken.

 
  
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  Derk Jan Eppink, namens de ECR-Fractie. – Voorzitter, wij herdenken hier het drama van Srebrenica, 25 jaar geleden. Het is een trauma, nog altijd een open wonde in Nederland, de grootste massaslachting in Europa sinds de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Nederland stuurde Dutchbat om de enclave te beschermen, maar de vredesmissie was vanaf het begin een mission impossible. Het VN-mandaat was onwerkbaar, de bewapening te licht en beloften over luchtsteun werden gebroken. Srebrenica was niet het falen van Dutchbat, maar van de internationale gemeenschap en de Nederlandse politiek.

Ten tijde van de besluitvorming was ik politiek journalist in Nederland. Velen vonden dat we iets moesten doen in voormalig Joegoslavië. De regering wilde het, het parlement wilde het, de pers steunde het. Goede bedoelingen resulteerden echter in een politieke wens die militair onuitvoerbaar was: Dutchbat werd ook gegijzeld. De Nederlandse regering bleef echter gewoon zitten en trad pas zeven jaar later af na een kritisch rapport.

Srebrenica heeft tot bezinning geleid en tot vele lessen bij vredesmissies. Vandaag eren we onze veteranen en herdenken we de slachtoffers van deze gruwelijke gebeurtenis, deze genocide. Het is misschien een schrale troost dat generaal Mladić nu levenslang in een Nederlandse gevangenis zit.

 
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