Extracts from the EC statements on genocides, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by totalitarian regimes
Type: Summary of press conference
End production: 21/04/2008 First transmission: 21/04/2008
A European hearing entitled "crimes committed by totalitarian regimes" took place in Brussels on 8 April 2008. This was organised jointly by the Slovenian Presidency of the European Union and the European Commission around the two key issues of recognition of the crimes and reconciliation.
There were four sessions: (i) How to improve knowledge about totalitarian crimes? (ii) How to promote public awareness about totalitarian crimes? (iii) What lessons can be drawn from successful experiences? (iv) How to achieve reconciliation?
The aim of the hearing was to contribute to attaining a greater knowledge of these complex issues and to enable an exchange of views between independent experts, representatives of national institutes and NGOs dealing with these issues. Member States, Members of the European Parliament and representatives of the Council of Europe were also present and participated in the debate.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
|| Exterior view of the European Parliament building in Strasbourg
|| Soundbite by Jacques Barrot, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Justice, Freedom and Security (ad interim), (in FRENCH): on 8 April, the Commission together with the Slovenian Presidency organized the hearing on crimes committed by totalitarian regimes; the aim of the hearing is to better understand how Member States have managed the issues of totalitarian crimes and reconciliation; the old Member States should become better aware of the tragic history from the new Member States; finally the debate agreed on calling European institutions to do more in this area; the Slovenian Presidency intends to make a publication of the recognized contributions and the Commission intends to make a study for factual analysis of the method of the legislations and the practices used in the Member States to treat the memory of the totalitarian crimes. (3 shots)
|| Soundbite by Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Member of the EP, (in GERMAN): we must have a uniform European interpretation of war; the reason is a common European memory; there is no point in having a discussion about Stalinism crimes on the one hand and Nazism crimes on the other hand; these are two totalitarian criminal systems but sometimes there are similar structures, there can be common interpretation; the common response to this issue is the European Union, the Charter of common rights, which learns lessons from the two forms of totalitarian systems; we have another example with the Rwanda issue or Darfur issue, where destruction of people is continuing, an answer to this is the International Criminal Court, with common rules. (2 shots)
|| Cutaways (4 shots)