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EU Parliament: 25th commemoration of Srebrenica massacre. Varhelyi, “Europe failed” there. Now peace and rights in the Balkans

“In Srebrenica, Europe failed and we are faced with our shame. Indeed, the Srebrenica genocide remains an open wound at the heart of Europe”. European Commissioner for Enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi, said this in his address to the European Parliament in Brussels this morning during the commemoration of the July 1995 genocide, in which 8,372 Muslim men and boys were deliberately killed by the Bosnian Serb forces led by General Ratko Mladić. According to the Commissioner, Europe, which failed to “prevent the genocide”, has a duty to remember Srebrenica forever and to ensure justice, by putting an end to all forms of impunity. Indeed, Europe has learned the lesson, and respect for human rights is “now at the core of our engagement” with the countries of the region. The EU supports them in the EU accession process on the path towards reconciliation and peace to achieve a stable and prosperous future: “Work in this direction, to heal the wounds!”, Varhelyi said at the end of his speech, as a sort of appeal to the inhabitants of the region. With the Srebrenica flower – a symbol of the genocide – pinned to his coat, Paul Range (EPP Party) took the floor calling Srebrenica “an unpardonable failure”, a denial of humanity and dignity”. Tonino Picula (S&D), for his part, said Bosnian families should be protected against “all forms of revisionism” of what happened, while Croatian MEP Valter Flego (Renew Europe) lamented that Parliament did not pass a resolution of condemnation to mark this anniversary, and called on Europe to ensure that no one is ever again killed because they are “different”.

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