Friday marks 40 years since European Parlt's statement of support for Baltics

  • 2023-01-13
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Friday, Jan. 13, marks 40 years since the adoption of a resolution in support of the Soviet-occupied Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania by the European Parliament, and at the suggestion of Estonian MEP Riho Terras, a plaque commemorating the resolution has been created, which will have its rightful place in the European Parliament.

"I want to thank the dozens of people who contributed to the creation of the commemorative plaque. 40 years ago, the European Union condemned the occupation of the Baltic states. At a time when Russia has launched an attack on an independent Ukraine and international law, the context of this statement is even more important. We have to fight for freedom, and international organizations and unions of countries play an important role in this fight," Terras said.

On Jan. 13, 1983, the European Parliament adopted the first resolution in support of Soviet-occupied Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The leader of the resolution was Otto von Habsburg, a Christian democrat representing Germany. The resolution was a reaction to the Baltic Appeal, a public initiative by 45 Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians of Aug. 23, 1979, which urged the United Nations and democratic governments of the West to support the aspirations of the Baltic nations to restore their independence. 

With the 1983 resolution, the European Parliament condemned the occupation of the independent and neutral Baltic states by the Soviet Union. The resolution recalled the long struggle of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for their freedom and the agreement to ensure the territorial integrity of these countries.

MEPs called on their foreign ministers to unanimously support the demands of the 1979 Baltic Appeal and suggested submitting the question of the Baltic states to the UN Special Committee on Decolonization. They proposed that the governments of the European Union raise the question of review of the fate of the Baltic nations during the annual conferences to monitor implementation of the Helsinki Final Act.

The freedom of the Baltic states was restored by 1991. In 2004, the MEPs of democratic Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined their colleagues in the European Parliament.