Press release

European Parliament resolution on European conscience and totalitarianism

2009 elections - Justice and home affairs - 02-04-2009 - 13:58
Plenary sessions
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In adopting a resolution on European conscience and totalitarianism, MEPs express respect for all victims of totalitarian and undemocratic regimes in Europe and pays tribute to those who fought against tyranny and oppression. Parliament underlines the importance of keeping the memories of the past alive, because there can be no reconciliation without truth and remembrance and reconfirms its united stand against all totalitarian rule from whatever ideological background.

Access to Archives
Parliament regrets that 20 years after the collapse of the Communist dictatorships 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.
MEPs call 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, although steps must be taken to ensure that this process is not abused for political purposes.
The House condemns strongly and unequivocally all crimes against humanity and the massive human rights violations committed by all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes.  The European Parliament extends to the victims of these crimes and their family members its sympathy, understanding and recognition of their suffering.
Uniqueness of the holocaust
Parliament underlines that millions of victims were deported, imprisoned, tortured and murdered by totalitarian and authoritarian regimes during the 20th century in Europe; whereas the uniqueness of the Holocaust must nevertheless be acknowledged.
Parliament calls for the establishment of a Platform of European Memory and Conscience, which would provide support for networking and cooperation among national research institutes specialising in the subject of totalitarian history and for the creation of a pan-European documentation centre/memorial for the victims of all totalitarian regimes.  MEPs want a strengthening of the existing relevant financial instruments with a view to providing support for the initiatives outlined above.
23 August as a Europe-wide Remembrance Day for the victims of all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes
The House also  calls for the proclamation of 23 August as a Europe-wide Remembrance Day for the victims of all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, to be commemorated with dignity and impartiality.
REF.: 20090401IPR53245

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