European Parliament commemorates the centennial of the Armenian Genocide
On 15 April, the European Parliament has gathered for a mini-plenary session in Brussels. One of the texts passed was a resolution on the centennial of the Armenian Genocide. Making reference to other European texts voted on the issue in the recent years, the resolution “pays tribute, on the eve of the Centenary, to the memory of the one-and-a-half million innocent Armenian victims” and calls on Turkey “to come to terms with its past, to recognise the Armenian genocide and thus pave the way for a genuine reconciliation between Turkish and Armenian peoples”.
European Friends of Armenia (EuFoA, www.EuFoA.org) warmly welcomes this resolution. EuFoA Director Eduardo Lorenzo Ochoa comments: “The European Parliament has once again proven its solidarity and support to the Armenian people, paying tribute to the innocent victims of the Genocide thus expressing its strong rejection to any kind of genocide denialism. The Parliament’s stance on genocides and crimes against humanity could not be clearer!”
The adoption of the resolution was accompanied by statements by the two governing bodies of the EU, the European Council and the European Commission. Ms Kristalina Georgieva, Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for the Budget and Human Resources, made a statement calling for “considering additional, meaningful steps paving the way towards full reconciliation”.
Speaking during the debate on the resolution, MEP Charles Tannock (ECR) commented “Since closing its border with Armenia, Turkey leads a relentlessly hostile policy towards Armenia. Turkey should open the border as a gesture of goodwill”. MEP Michèle Rivasi (Greens/EFA) called on the European Commission to use the word “genocide”, saying that “it’s of historic importance that this word is used”.
It is the second time that the European Parliament has passed a resolution recognising the Armenian Genocide. The first time, the resolution on a “political solution to the Armenian question” was adopted on 18 June 1987. In addition, this year the EP has also included the issue of the Armenian Genocide in its Human Rights report, whereas EURONEST PA, composed in part of European parliamentarians, has adopted a resolution on “the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide”.
“Today’s vote is also an example of a successful joint work by all Armenia-related organisations in Brussels, and we are proud that EuFoA could also contribute to achieving this important goal. We are also grateful to the European Parliament political groups for their support and understanding of the different aspects of this important matter” adds Mr Lorenzo Ochoa.
The resolution has passed with an overwhelming majority, again proving the high level of European solidarity for this issue.
EuFoA is happy to provide commenting or background analysis in English, French, Spanish, Polish, German, Russian and Armenian. Members of the Europe-Armenia Advisory Council may also be available for comments; for enquiries please contact our secretariat.
For more information on EuFoA and the Europe-Armenia Advisory Council, please visit our website at www.EuFoA.org.
High resolution picture material is always available on our website and upon request. It is free to use with a reference “Copyright: www.EuFoA.org”.