One of the key questions of contemporary societies is how to come to terms with the past, and particularly with the ‘dark’ heritage of the turbulent 20th century. This – individual as well as collective – reconciliation with the past should be based on truth, but the truth is sometimes bitter and often painful. Hence the dilemma: Is it worth opening old wounds, disturbing tranquillity by ‘counting the bones’ and dealing with the past instead of with the future? It can often even be heard that those opening this discussion are doing it for possible political gain. But the truth might be quite the opposite – those who want to close it are doing it on the basis of certain political calculations. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Statements by REH group members’ category
Statement by Sandra Kalniete, Chairwoman of the REH group: On ex-Yugoslav secret communist police archives in SloveniaJune 1, 2011
Member of the European Parliament from Latvia, Ms Sandra Kalniete, is chairing an informal parliamentary group, the “Reconciliation of European Histories”. A group which consists of 38 MEPs from six political groups (EPP, SD, ALDE, Greens, ECR, and EFD) and therefore has broad political support in the EP.
This week a referendum will take place in Slovenia and voters will decide whether to allow new legislation that proposes to limit individual’s access to the Slovenian archives of the ex-Yugoslav secret communist police (SDV or UDBA). As this topic is of a great importance for the Reconciliation of European Histories group I would like to present my opinion on that matter. (more…)
Contribution of Heidi Hautala, chairwoman of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee of Human rights, at the conference “Crimes of the Communist Regimes” in Prague 24-26 February 2010:
Dear participants of the conference Crimes of the Communist Regimes,
I can’t unfortunately be present in the conference, as I am taking part on a European Parliament’s fact-finding delegation visit to Belarus.
Twenty years after the fall of the Iron Curtain and almost six years after the accession of post-communist countries to the EU, it is natural to ask how one should deal with the past of the communist states. How should we evaluate the actions of the communist regimes behind the Iron Curtain? For me the points of departure are definitely human rights and justice. (more…)