23 August 2018 At the invitation of Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu, the government representatives of European Union countries gathered in Tallinn on the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism to adopt a joint statement to commemorate the victims of communism and to support the initiation of the Estonian government to establish an international museum of communism’s crimes in Tallinn.
Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu emphasised that, on 23 August, respect is shown for the memory of all people who died as victims of totalitarian regimes. “It is noteworthy that the representatives of eight countries demand the continuation of investigations into communism’s crimes. It is clear that investigating totalitarian regimes and acknowledging their hostility is a shared responsibility of Europe. Together, we can protect the achieved freedom, democracy, and human rights against both today’s and future threats that arise from hostile ideologies,” Reinsalu said.
The government representatives of the European Union member states, who were present at the meeting, also invited the governments of other countries to express their respect for all those who fell victim to the political terror of the totalitarian regimes with the joint statement. At the same time, the participants of the meeting expressed their support for the initiative of the Estonian government to establish an international museum of communism’s victims in Tallinn. The representatives of the ministries of justice and the ministries of foreign affairs in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Croatia, Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary joined the joint statement.
In April 2009, the European Parliament made a proposal in its resolution on European conscience and totalitarianism to announce 23 August to be the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism. Today, 79 years ago, the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact was signed, creating the basis for the annexation and occupation of independent states, and launching a chain of events, in the course of which communism’s and Nazism’s crimes were committed to a large extent.
Please find the joint declaration here.