STRASBURG — Today, the European Parliament called on EU Member States to recognize the Armenian genocide in the context of the Centenary of the event. It also “ encourages the Member States and the EU institutions to contribute further to its recognition”. The call was part of the extensive 2015 Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the world. Among numerous concerns, the resolution, which is 242 paragraphs long, also focuses on the situation of religious minorities in the Middle East, including the Armenians.
In addition, the text adopted by the EP puts a particular focus on the question of human rights in the relations with EU partners. Indeed, the very first paragraph of the report states that “the preamble to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union affirms that the EU ‘places the individual and human dignity at the heart of its activities’”. The reports then adds that “the performance-driven ‘more for more’ approach should guide the EU’s relations with all third countries, that the EU should grant partner countries advanced status only if clear human rights and democracy requirements are met, and that it should not hesitate to freeze this status if those requirements are no longer fulfilled.”
The adopted text also recalls the situation of religious minorities, particularly in the Middle East, mentioning among others the Apostolic Armenians. In that particular paragraphs, the Parliament “calls for the EU and its Member States to ensure that religious minorities are respected worldwide, particularly in the Middle East, where Christians, including Catholics, Apostolic Armenians, Copts and Yezidis, and Muslim minorities are being persecuted by ISIS and other terrorist groups.”