The EPP-ED Group welcomed the April 21 debate in the European Parliament on the assessment of crimes of totalitarian regimes as a promising starting point to achieving an integrated understanding of all the human tragedies of the 20th century, no matter which totalitarian system may have caused them.
The message of the debate could be coined in the words: "Justice belongs to all citizens of Europe, without exception," said the EPP-ED Bureau Member Tunne Kelam MEP.
Jacek Saryusz-Wolski MEP, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament, added: "The European Parliament is one of those international actors which has human rights issues at its very heart. This also entails our pan-European responsibility for the proper assessment of all historic crimes against mankind."
The EPP-ED Group believes that there must be an equal assessment of all crimes against humanity, all acts of genocide and classocide as well as all war crimes.
"In just the same way as the Baltic Sea has become an internal EU sea following the 2004 enlargement, the historic experience of the ten Member States that suffered under totalitarian terror of the Communist type has become an all-European issue," said Kelam.
Tunne Kelam expressed his disappointment at the European Commission's initial statement that assessment of the Communist totalitarian past is considered first of all an internal matter of every relevant country: "Such an attitude is bound to lead to the deepening of double standards", said Kelam. "Clearly, Nazism and fascism are not considered an internal matter of any Member State. Every emergence of neo-Nazism is viewed as a direct threat to the common values of Europe, and rightly so."
"Whereas the European Socialists seem to turn their main attention to the threat of rewriting European history and to the need of avoiding party political interpretations of it, the EPP-ED considers its main task is to bring about an honest and thorough debate on all totalitarian crimes of the past century with the aim of providing the 'never again' guarantee, also for the tens of millions of victims of totalitarian Communist regimes. This will be our contribution to the overcoming of the still existing mental and historic inequalities."
"What we aspire for is a moral and political assessment of these regimes. Naturally, you cannot criminalise individuals on the grounds of political statements. Each concrete case belongs to an impartial court", Kelam continued.
The EPP-ED Group has been encouraged by the concluding statement by Commissioner Barrot that the EU, too, sees its responsibility to find out the whole truth as well as to guarantee that horrible forms of repression and totalitarian crimes never return.
On the basis of Monday's debate, the EPP-ED Group sees a promising common ground where political groups can make a joint effort in addressing the totalitarian crimes in an objective and comprehensive way. "It is first of all a cross-party issue", said Kelam. "It is a deeply human problem of truth and moral justice which we are all called to achieve together. In this way, we can look forward to reaching a Europe-wide reconciliation on the tragic events of the 20th century
EPP-ED Group committed to moral and political assessment of all totalitarian regimes.