STRASBOURG—During its plenary session on Wednesday the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the centennial of the Armenian Genocide. The European Council was represented by Kalinina-Lukaševica and the European Commission by Kristalina Georgieva, Vice-President of the European Commission. With this resolution, the European Parliament officially marked the centennial of the Armenian Genocide.
The resolution on the centenary of the Armenian Genocide, which garnered support from all political groups in the European Parliament, read: “Whereas an increasing number of Member States and national parliaments recognize the Armenian Genocide perpetrated in the Ottoman Empire; whereas one of the main motivations of the European unification movement is the will to prevent the recurrence of wars and crimes against humanity in Europe; whereas the importance of keeping the memories of the past is paramount, since there can be no reconciliation without the truth and remembrance; [the European Parliament] pays tribute, on the eve of the Centenary, to the memory of the one-and-a-half million innocent Armenian victims who perished in the Ottoman Empire; joins the commemoration of the centenary of the Armenian Genocide in a spirit of European solidarity and justice; calls on the Commission and Council to join the commemoration.”
The resolution recalls the Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2013 adopted on Mach 12, 2015, and the European Union’s policy on the matter, where the European Parliament calls on EU member states to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
The resolution also recalls the Parliament’s resolution of June 18, 1987, in which the Parliament recognized that the tragic events that took place in Ottoman Armenia from 1915 to 1918 against the Armenians constitute a genocide as defined by international law.
As such, the European Parliament’s resolution adopted Wednesday said, “The European Parliament calls on Turkey to come to terms with its past by recognizing the Armenian genocide and thus pave way for a genuine reconciliation.”
The European Parliament resolution also asks for the establishment of an “International Remembrance Day for Genocides” and stresses that the timely prevention and effective punishment of genocide and crimes against humanity should be among the main priorities of the international community and the EU.
An unprecedented number of members of the European Parliament took the stage and showed their solidarity to the Armenian nation, and in support of the resolution, and stressed the importance of calling a genocide . Pope Francis’ message of reconciliation and peace was also mentioned and included in the final version of the resolution.
Armenia Welcomes Resolution
“Armenia welcomes the European Parliament Resolution on the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide,” Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbanian said in a statement.
“The European Parliament underlines that yet in its resolution of 1987 it recognized that what took place against the Armenians in 1915-1917 in the Ottoman Empire represents a genocide as defined by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and strongly deplores any attempts of its denial,” Minister Nalbandian added.
EAFJD Welcomes vote
Kaspar Karampetian, President of the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (ANC of Europe) said, “Armenians all over the world welcome this resolution in this centennial year of the Armenian Genocide. The European Union is a union of values, dignity and human rights, and we expect all countries willing to join it, to have reconciled with their past, have friendly relations with their neighbors and look forward to a brighter and peaceful future without the ultimate of crimes, without Genocide. We expect Turkey come to terms with its past, and acknowledge the crime it has committed against the Armenian population 100 years ago, with all its consequences.”
Karampetian also stressed the need for the EU Council and Commission to show more courage, acknowledge the crime with its proper name, and not hide behind EU member countries who have not yet recognized the Armenian Genocide.
Karampetian said that Armenians support the democratic forces in Turkey, who challenge the Turkish state’s denial policy and push for recognition of the crime of genocide against Armenians. He also stressed the well-coordinated and organized work of the Republic of Armenia’s permanent mission to the EU, the Armenian National Assembly’s committee on foreign relations and the European Friends of Armenia, whose efforts helped introduce “this well-deserved resolution,” as Karampetian put it.
Ahead of the vote, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, commenting on the European Parliament’s scheduled vote, said, “Whatever decision the European Parliament takes on Armenian genocide claims, it will go in one ear and out the other because it is not possible for Turkey to accept such a crime, such a sin.”
Turkey’s Permanent Delegation to the EU immediately responded after the resolution’s passing by tweeting: “In its latest resolution the EP has once again been successful in alienating Turkey and the Turkish people. It acted as prosecutor, judge and jury.”