Europe urged to set historical record straight

A conference in the European parliament has been told that as Europe continues to grow, it is essential that its historical record is “set straight.”

The Tuesday (2008-01-22) conference,“United Europe, United History”, included MEPs, academics and commentators.

The aim of the evebt was to look at how the history of the continent has evolved over time.

UK Tory Christopher Beazley, who moderated the event, said, “It is important when assessing where we are that we acknowledge where we have come from.

“History is not the property of governments or ideologies and may never be used as propaganda.

“If we are to achieve a truly united Europe we must share together our common story and then we may look to the future with hope, self confidence and seek to ensure that we prevent the re-occurrence of conflicts from which previous generations suffered.”

He added, “It is not surprising, considering the protracted and unnatural division on our continent, that differing historical records have developed.

“It is important, as part of the continuing process of re-unification, that the truth of that period be discussed.

“Naturally, the fact that the fate of central and eastern Europe was surrendered to the control of the Soviet Union, is uncomfortable for many in western Europe, not least for my own country.

“During this terrible period in our collective history no one emerges with honour.”

Other speakers at this week’s event included Tunne Kelam and Girts Kristovskis, both credited with being central to the independence movements of Estonia and Latvia respectively.