European Parliament Resolution


April 15, 2015

The European Parliament,

– having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948,

– having regard to its resolution of 18 June 1987 on a political solution to the Armenian question(1),

– having regard to its resolution of 12 March 2015 on the Annual report on human rights and democracy in the World 2013 and the EU policy on the matter(2),

– having regard to the Protocol on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey and the Protocol on Development of Relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey signed in Zurich on 10 October 2009,

– having regard to the statement made on 12 April 2015 by His Holiness Pope Francis,

– having regard to Rule 123(2) and (4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas 2015 marks the centennial of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated in the Ottoman Empire;

B. whereas an increasing number of Member States and national parliaments recognise the Armenian Genocide perpetrated in the Ottoman Empire;

C. whereas one of the main motivations for the European unification movement is the will to prevent the recurrence of wars and crimes against humanity in Europe;

D. whereas Turkey and Armenia have embarked on a process of diplomatic normalisation, signing protocols in 2009 in Zurich on establishing and developing relations;

E. whereas the importance of keeping alive the memories of the past is paramount, since there can be no reconciliation without truth and remembrance;

1. 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 the Council to join in the commemoration;

2. Recalls its resolution of 18 June 1987 in which inter alia it recognised that the tragic events that took place in 1915-1917 against the Armenians in the territory of the Ottoman Empire represent a genocide as defined in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948; condemns all occurrences of crimes against humanity and genocide, and strongly deplores any attempts at their denial;

3. Pays tribute to the memory of the innocent victims of all genocides and crimes committed against humanity; proposes that an International Remembrance Day for Genocides be established, in order to recall again the right of all peoples and all nations throughout the world to peace and dignity;

4. Stresses that the timely prevention and effective punishment of genocides and crimes against humanity should be among the main priorities of the international community and the European Union;

5. Welcomes the statements by the President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoğlu, offering condolences and recognising atrocities against the Ottoman Armenians as a step in the right direction; encourages Turkey to use the commemoration of the centenary of the Armenian Genocide as an important opportunity to continue its efforts, including the opening of the archives, to come to terms with its past, to recognise the Armenian Genocide and thus to pave the way for a genuine reconciliation between the Turkish and Armenian peoples;

6. Commends the message delivered by His Holiness Pope Francis honouring the centenary of the Armenian genocide on 12 April 2015 in a spirit of peace and reconciliation;

7. Invites Turkey to respect and realise fully the obligations which it has undertaken to the protection of cultural heritage and, in particular, to conduct in good faith an integrated inventory of Armenian and other cultural heritage destroyed or ruined during the past century within its jurisdiction;

8. Invites Armenia and Turkey to use examples of successful reconciliation between European nations and to focus on an agenda that puts cooperation between peoples first; trusts that this will contribute to the historic reconciliation of the Armenian and Turkish people in a spirit of truth and respect; supports civil society initiatives between Turkey and Armenia working towards the normalisation of relations; urges Turkey and Armenia to proceed to a normalisation of their relations by ratifying and implementing, without preconditions, the protocols on the establishment of diplomatic relations, by opening the border and by actively improving their relations, with particular reference to cross-border cooperation and economic integration;

9. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice‑President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and Parliament of the Republic of Armenia, and the Government and Parliament of the Republic of Turkey.