Meeting of the Reconciliation of European Histories Group

On September 22 2010 the informal group of MEPs in the European Parliament ‘Reconciliation of European Histories’ held its group meeting in Strasbourg, France. The group, whose main objective is “to reconcile the different historical narratives in Europe and to consolidate them into a united European story,” met with Chair of the Committee on Culture and Education in the European Parliament, MEP Doris Pack. The meeting centred on the topic of how to promote in the European population a better understanding and more knowledge of the most tragic pages of the 20th century. Topics such as how to better coordinate the teaching of the history of the 20th century in Member states were discussed. Members unanimously agreed that it is especially important to increase young people’s awareness and understanding of the crimes committed against humanity by both the Nazi and Soviet regimes. The group stressed that the European Parliament should take up an active role to promote the engagement of European Member States in the Prague process; for them to support and realize the “Platform of European Memory and Conscience”. The group also agreed to organize a conference in 2011 with the objective of diminishing the existing divergences in the understanding of Eastern and Western Europe’s common history.

Additionally, chair of the group MEP Sandra Kalniete informed members that thus far the group has received answers from nine national parliaments concerning the letter, European day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism, in which 36 members of the European Parliament urged national parliaments to make August 23 a national day of remembrance for the victims of Stalinism and Nazism.

 The group’s next meeting is scheduled for November when, in addition to other work, the group will begin to formulate the details of the 2011 conference, to promote a greater understanding of a common European history.

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