Time for Europe to wake up!

Prague, 16 June 2014. The two-day international conference Legacy of Totalitarianism Today organised by the Platform of European Memory and Conscience and hosted by Ms Miluše Horská, Vice-President of the Senate, Parliament of the Czech Republic, brought to light worrying developments in the quality of democracy in Central and Eastern Europe 25 years after the fall of Communism, showing that the region has not been able to successfully cope with the legacy of totalitarianism. There is a very low trust of citizens in politicians through the region, the rule of law has deteriorated and there is very little prosecution of totalitarian crimes.

In this situation, Russia`s annexation of Crimea has startled sleeping Europeans. The Russian aggression and provocation in Ukraine must be the wake-up call which the attack on Georgia 2008 failed to be. Particularly the fate of the Crimean Tatars who are now again subjected to persecution and discrimination in occupied Crimea calls for international attention and solidarity action.

The conference on totalitarian legacy concludes with the urge to Europe and the world to learn from its totalitarian past. To deal with the suffering of victims as well as the crimes of the perpetrators is the only way forward to be prepared to stand up, show solidarity and be ready to counter aggressive neighbours.