European Parliament Calls on Member States to Recognize Armenian Genocide

EuroParlThe European Parliament has called on EU Member States to recognize the Armenian Genocide of 1915. On March 12, the European Parliament adopted the Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2013 and the European Union policy on that matter, where several passages made mention of Armenia.

The most remarkable was Article 77 of the section, “EU policy on international criminal justice and the International Criminal Court,” which “Calls, ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, on all the Member States legally to acknowledge it, and encourages the Member States and the EU institutions to contribute further to its recognition.”

Additionally, Article 129 of the section, “Freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief,” calls for the European Union and its Member States to ensure that religious minorities are respected worldwide, particularly in the Middle East, where Christians, including Catholics, Apostolic Armenians, Copts and Yezidis, and Muslim minorities are being persecuted by ISIS and other terrorist groups.

The European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) welcomed the resolution adopted by the European Parliament.Bedo Demirjian, EAFJD Communication & PR noted that it places human rights as a priority in all negotiations with third parties and countries. In a statement released to CivilNet, EAFJD said, “We were expecting this report for a few years now, when the post of the European Union Special Representative for Human Rights was created, to advance European Union values during negotiations, be it on foreign policy, trade, energy or any other cooperation with third countries.

“We unequivocally welcome and support this resolution especially in this centenary year of the Armenian Genocide, specifically paragraph 77:

Calls, ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, on all the Member States legally to acknowledge it, and encourages the Member States and the EU institutions to contribute further to its recognition.

“We expect the EU to put pressure on Turkey, as well, to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide that it has committed.

“It should also be noted, that all vulnerable groups, minorities and peoples are being protected under this resolution, which is immensely necessary in these times of racism, xenophobia, and the turmoil in the Middle East and the European Neighborhood.”

European Friends of Armenia (EuFoA) also welcomed the European Parliament report. EuFoA Director, Mr Eduardo Lorenzo Ochoa, said, “After a long break, the European Parliament reasserts its position on the Armenian Genocide, and again reaffirms that genocides and their denials are a human rights matter. During this special year, we are thankful for this strong signal of European solidarity with the Armenian people.” Ochoa went on to say, “In practical terms it means that the European Parliament does not want the EU to compromise its stance on human rights, democracy and rule of law when dealing with third countries.”

The report was prepared by the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and adopted at the committee level on February 9. The rapporteur of the report was Member of European Parliament Pier Antonio Panzeri (SD, Italy).