Lithuania starts official dialogue with EU over assessment of totalitarian regimes

July 25, 2007 at 10:21 am 1 comment

Totalitarian regimes 

According to the BNS Lithuania has started consultations with the European Union countries over assessment of the legacy of the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century.

During the visit to Slovenia last week, Lithuania’s delegation and representatives from the Slovenian government discussed the possibility to regulate, within the entire legal space of the EU, the experience of the ten new EU countries with totalitarian regimes, the parliamentary public relations department reported on Tuesday.

The Lithuanian party suggested first of all publishing an official joint review of the losses incurred by the ten new members. Lithuania is seeking not only to initiate a new wave of investigations inside the EU, and to expand the EU’s acquis communautaire and launching an intergovernmental dialogue on these issues.

The press release reads that the old EU members that have endured the Second World War and now united with the European neighbours that had been left on the other side of the iron curtain after the war should be better informed on what happened to their neighbours after they were left to the devices of totalitarian regimes after the 1945 Potsdam convention.

In the words of MP Emanuelis Zingeris, a member of the delegation, the EU should have a better understanding of the collectivisation, nationalisation, arrests, abolishment of party systems, information isolation that Communist regimes had been carrying out for fifty years.

At the meeting of the EU Justice and Internal Affairs Council in Luxembourg in April, Lithuania sought that Lithuania’s suggestion to judge the crimes of Nazism and Stalinism equally should be included in the text of the Council’s fundamental resolution and that the judgement of the crimes be entered into the EU’s fundamental decision on racism and xenophobia. As this has not been done yet, a decision was made to hold an additional public debate on this topic.

At the European Council in June, Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas accentuated Lithuania’s readiness to cooperate with the European Commission and Slovenia, who will be presiding in the EU during the first half of 2008, in approximating open debates on the subject of totalitarian regime crimes.

In 1940, Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union, later, during the years of World War II, its territory was invaded by the Nazi Germany. After the Red Army pushed German troops back, Lithuania was forced to become a Soviet Union republic once again. 1940 to 1953, Lithuania lost up to one-third of its population to deportations, killings, forced emigration. Lithuania has estimated the damages of 50 years of the Soviet occupation at 80 billion litas (EUR 23 billion).

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Entry filed under: Baltic States, Central Europe, EU, Lithuania, Politics, Russia, Totalitarian regimes.

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