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09/12/2016

EPP adopts resolution on comdemning totalitarian communism

Elections

EPP adopts resolution on comdemning totalitarian communism

In a resolution, the European People’s Party is condemning totalitarian Communism. The party wants to prevent access to the Parliament and to the Commission of certain former communist leaders of the new Member States.

Background

The European People's Party (EPP) on 5 February 2004 adopted a resolution condeming totalitarian Communism. The resolution calls on those from the new Member States "who intend to assume a political function in the EU institutions to disclose their professional and political activities in former communist states and to refrain from taking up a European post if they formed part of the repressive Communist enforcement agencies, or were involved in crimes against humanity". EPP President Wilfried Martens commented: "This is the first time a political group has expressed its clear rejection of left-wing extremists and totalitarian systems. Every democrat can accept that."

The EPP states that, unlike for Nazism, there has not been any international condemnation of communist regimes after the political changes in 1989 and calls for the new Member States to set up committees to investigate human rights violations under Communist regimes.

The EPP's plan could spell trouble for the recently nominated Estonian Commissioner, Siim Kallas, who was a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1972 to 1990, as all Commissioners need the EP's approval before taking up office. The parliamentary hearings of the new Commissioners are scheduled for May 2004.

However, the EPP's initiative was met with with strong opposition from other groups, such as the European Liberal Democrats (ELDR) and the European Socialist Party (PSE). ELDR leader Graham Watson said: "The European Parliament is not a court, and should not get involved in legal or quasi-legal matters. It is up to each Member State to deal with its own past, and this should be done at national rather than at European level".