Posted tagged ‘European Parliament’

Parliamentarium Museum Will Add Content Illustrating Soviet Aggression

March 20, 2014

In response to a letter sent by MEPs Sandra Kalniete (Latvia), Doris Pack (Germany), Jacek Protasiewicz (Poland), Tunne Kelam (Estonia), Vytautas Landsbergis (Lithuania), and Monica Macovei (Romania) the Parliamentarium Museum will add content illustrating Soviet aggression.

In their letter sent on May 22nd 2013, MEPs expressed their concern that the museum of the European Parliament did not adequately address the role of the Soviet Union in starting World War Two and their perpetration of grave crimes against humanity. “While the Parlamentarium museum addresses the grave atrocities committed by the Nazi Regime and Nazi Germany’s role as aggressor in World War Two, we find it disheartening that similar acts committed by the Soviet Union and their role as ally of Nazi Germany and co-aggressor at the start of the war are not mentioned.”

After reviewing the content, the Directorate General for Communication of the Parliamentarium Unit has confirmed that the section addressing the history before the European Union will be revised. Currently consultation is taking place with museums dedicated to Soviet crimes in order to select the most appropriate images. As the content has been confirmed we will update this article.

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The ban of totalitarian symbols is not considered necessary by the President of the EP

March 5, 2014

In December 2013, Transylvanian MEP László Tőkés, Hungarian MEP George Schöpflin, Latvian MEPs Sandra Klaniete and Inese Vaidere, Lithuanian MEPs Laima Liucija Andrikiené and Vytautas Landsbergis, as well as Slovenian MEP Milan Zver addressed a letter to the President of the European Parliament, in which they requested a ban of symbols of totalitarian regimes.

Referring to the epoch-making European Parliament Resolution of 2 April 2009 on European conscience and totalitarianism, the undersigning EPP Group Members reminded the Socialist President that “Europe will not be united unless it is able to form a common view of its history, recognizes Nazism, Stalinism and Fascist and Communist regimes as a common legacy and brings about an honest and thorough debate on their crimes in the past century.” Further, they draw the attention of Martin Schulz to the fact that while the usage, denial and/or disparagement of totalitarian symbols is prohibited and considered a criminal offense in some Member States, these virulent phenomena occur on a daily basis in other Member States.

“We turn to you, Mr. President with the respectful request that you ban the use of symbols of dictatorships inside the European Parliament and all its public premises, in particular the swastika, red star as well as the hammer and sickle. We similarly recommend that the European Parliament make a proposal on the ban of dictatorial symbols in all EU member states. It is our firm conviction that it would be truly worthy of the EU’s spirit and image, as a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize,” concluded the letter.

“As you surely are aware the European Parliament has been throughout its existence an undeniable pillar of freedom, democracy, non-discrimination and rule of law in Europe and indeed at a global level and has never hesitated to reaffirm the values it stands for,” replied The President on 14 February 2014, however he did not consider the ban of genocidal totalitarian symbols necessary. Nevertheless, a general ban of totalitarian symbols would have had a strong message to the European people who had suffered under the brutality of both rightist and leftist dictatorships.

Diplomatically avoiding the request itself, President Schulz cited the Rules governing cultural events and exhibitions on Parliament’s premises, stating that “these rules are, and will be in the future, an effective tool to avoid any undue displays of potentially disturbing images or symbols within the European Parliament.”

On 25 February, the Memorial Day for the Victims of Communism, Transylvanian MEP Tőkés said that 25 years after the fall of soviet-communist dictatorships double standards still prevail in the European Union, and the silent toleration of communist symbols continues violating the memory of millions of victims.  

Strasbourg, 25 February 2014

Materials from the Conference “Occupation after Liberation”

April 27, 2012

Agenda 
Speakers Bios
Summary of the Event
Audio Recording of the Entire Event
Photos of the Event
Speech of President Daul
Speech of MEP Vaidere
Speech of MEP Schopflin
Speech of MEP Landsbergis
Power Point of Mr. Mezmalis

Materials from the Seminar ‘Life After the Soviet Union’

April 16, 2012

 Agenda
Speakers Bios

Video address of Joseph Daul (MEP), President of the EPP Group in the European Parliament
Video address of Jerzy Buzek (MEP), former President of the European Parliament
Audio recording of the entire seminar
Photos from the event
EPP TV report on the event

Materials from the EPP hearing on the European Commission’s Report: The memory of the crimes committed by totalitarian regimes in Europe

October 20, 2011

 Multi Media

Photographs from the Hearing
EPPpress release
EPP TV coverage
Latvian TV

Materials from the Hearing

(more…)

Commemorating 70 years from the first mass deportations from the Baltic States: “Your past is our past”. Tunne Kelam MEP

June 9, 2011

(MEPs also gathered by the memorial plaque, honoring those deported from the Baltic nations.)

At the opening of the plenary session, the Members of the European Parliament commemorated 70 years from the first mass deportations from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, conducted by the Soviet Union.

In his statement, the President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek stressed that we need to remember many thousands of victims in the Baltic States which had been occupied since 1940 by the Soviet Union.   (see the full video of debate in the Plenary) (more…)

Letters from Siberia in the European Parliament

June 8, 2011

On June 14th, the European Parliament (EP) in Brussels will hosted an exhibition “Birch Bark Letters from Siberia.” The exhibition was organized by MEP Sandra Kalniete (EPP,Latvia), in collaboration with the Tukums Museum in Latvia. For one week, MEPs, staff and guests were able to acquaint themselves with letters which were written on birch bark and sent to the loved ones of Latvians who were forcefully deported to Siberia. Today, from several thousand such examples only 19 remain in the collections of Latvian museums, as historical evidence of this most tragic past. Elza Serdāne, the author of one such letter which has miraculously survived to this day, also took part in the official opening ceremony of the exhibition. At the age of 73, Elza is the active leader of the Politically Repressed Society in her home town of Madona.  (more…)