Totalitarian regimes to be assesed

  • 2008-04-07
  • In cooperation with BNS

VILNIUS - Lithuania will seek the European Commission's (EC) approval of its actionplan on the evaluation process of totalitarian regimes in countries of the EU.

Today in Brussels, as thepublic debates on the assessment of totalitarian regimes began, Lithuaniavoiced its view that Stalinism ought to be part of the assessment oftotalitarian regimes.  

"This is not just another conference, it is the start of a big way in Europe'sconsciousness and structures. Brusselsshould establish institutions to fortify the knowledge of the crimes committedby totalitarian regimes to prevent this from recurring under Europe'sskies," said MP Emanuelis Zingeris, a member of the Lithuanian delegation at the debates.

Referring to the example of Belarusian Alexander Lukashenko, he noted thattotalitarianism was not just an issue of the past in Europe.

Held for the first time in the history of the EU, the public debates wereorganized by the EC's Directorate General for Justice, Freedom and Security. Attendingthe debates are more than 100 experts.

In 2007, the EU's Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council discussed the draftframework decision, willing EU member states to criminalize crimes made inconnection with racism and xenophobia. The draft encompassed Nazi crimesleaving Stalinism aside.

In last year's JHA meeting in Luxemburg, Lithuaniasought for the draft framework decision made by the council to include Lithuania'ssuggestion to consider crimes of Nazism and Stalinism as equal and includetheir evaluation in the framework decision on racism and xenophobia. When thiswasn't actualized, a decision was made to hold supplementary public Europeandebates on this topic.

In 1940, Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union, later, during the years of World War II, its territory wasinvaded by the Nazi Germany. After the Red Army pushed German troops back, Lithuaniawas forced to become a Soviet Union republic once again.

In 1940-1953, Lithuania lost up to one-thirdof its population to deportations, killings and forced emigration. Lithuaniahas estimated the damages of 50 years of the Soviet occupation at 80 billionlitas (EUR 23 b).