Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

MEPs from EPP Group Asked Juncker To Create a European History Portfolio

Adelina Marini, July 18, 2014

A group of EPP MEPs have sent a letter to the new European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, asking him the new European Commission to pay special attention on the legacy of totalitarian regimes and their crimes. The letter has been sent upon the initiative of Croatian MEP Andrej Plenkovic, his Estonian colleague Tunne Kelam and Latvian MEP Sandra Kalniete and has been signed by the EPP group leader Manfred Weber (Germany). Among the signatories, however, there is not even one of the seven EPP MEPs from Bulgaria - a country that suffers a lot from the legacy of totalitarian rule. In their letter, the group recalls that the European project is founded on common values like democracy, truth and reconciliation. That is why, it is necessary to increase public awareness about European history and the crimes of totalitarian regimes.

They ask Mr Juncker to organise a European-wide discussion about the reasons and consequences of totalitarian rule: "This is not merely a historic or emotional problem. It is a problem  for  a truly comprehensive integration of Europe. It is a question  of reasserting  and defending European values,  which are  being  challenged  by  those  countries  outside  the  EU  that  have  not  done Vergangenheitsbewältigung  and are using falsified history to justify  aggression  against their neighbours. Unaddressed  and  neglected  heritage  of  totalitarian  crimes  has  become  a  real  obstacle  to deepened integration and remains fertile soil for Euro-scepticism and extremism", the letter of the MEPs says.

They expect Jean-Claude Juncker to appoint a special Commissioner responsible explicitly for the European history and memory. Among the signatories are the chairman of the foreign affairs committee Elmar Brok (Germany), Eduard Kukan (Slovakia) who is a regular rapporteur on the progress of Western Balkans' European integration (a former foreign minister), Romanian MEP Monica Luisa Macovei who launched the judiciary reform in Romania. Overall, 24 MEPs from the EPP group singed the letter, including five Croats.