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    The Council of Europe will address German reparations for WWII says Polish MP

    “In the coming weeks, there will be a draft Council of Europe’s resolution on war reparations from Germany to the countries behind the Iron Curtain. It is about the problem of the lack of a judicial route for the settlement of the claims of some World War II victims,” – Law and Justice MP Arkadiusz Mularczyk told the media. The politician conveyed that his project concerned Poland, Greece, Italy, Serbia and countries from Central and Eastern Europe. Support has been expressed by people holding key positions in the Council of Europe.

    Mularczyk, who coordinated the work on the report on Poland’s wartime losses caused by Germany, said that during the talks he had this week with politicians of the Council of Europe, there were proposals “to consider preparing a draft resolution on investigating Germany’s policy on the implementation of the right to just reparation for all victims of World War II, the refusal to settle these matters in the form of bilateral agreements and the lack of a judicial route for victims of World War II, especially for victims from central and eastern European countries, Greece, Italy, or Serbia.

     

    “I would like to draft such a resolution in the coming weeks and send it to all my interlocutors. So that it is not only the initiative of the Polish delegation but that it is such a cross-party project – to carry out a certain search and examination of the problem of the lack of equal rights to reparation and a judicial route for victims of World War II from certain countries and the lack of opportunities to settle their claims in the formula of judicial redress,” – said the politician. 

     

    The lack of a right to reparation for all victims of the Second World War and the lack of willingness on the part of Germany to settle these matters in the formula of bilateral agreements, as well as the lack of a judicial route, he assessed, contravenes the assumptions of the European Convention on Human Rights.

     

    “I think that this will be the core of the draft resolution – I will ask all political groups in the Council of Europe for signatures and support so that this important issue will be raised in such an apolitical formula,” the MP announced.

     

    In Mularczyk’s estimation, all the Council’s member countries should be interested in “how Germany has lived up to and is living up to the basic rules of human rights and the rule of law for the victims of World War II.” The politician stressed that he had met that week with those holding key positions in the Council of Europe – the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejczinović Burić, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Despina Chatzivasiliou-Tsovilisi and the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Tini Cox, as well as leaders of political groups in the Council of Europe and representatives of the delegations of Greece, Serbia and Turkey. He added that he had given the politicians copies of a report on Poland’s war losses, as well as the main tenets of a diplomatic note addressed by the Polish government to the German government.

     

    “The vast majority of my interlocutors expressed interest in this topic and pointed out that such issues should be resolved in the formula of dialogue,” Mularczyk said. He added that Tiny Kox assessed in the conversation that “there should be no differentiation between countries or nationalities when it comes to such issues of compensation or reparations”.

     

    Mularczyk expressed the hope that the project would become a topic of work during the next session of the Council of Europe in January.

     

    “I think this would be very important because the adoption of a resolution or the undertaking of a study of the matter by the Council of Europe would be completely objective. It is a reliable study of the historical responsibility and how Germany behaved towards various countries after the war, what benefits it paid and to whom, and whether we are not dealing with a certain form of discrimination against victims from certain countries and the application of double standards – that some victims were paid and others were not, and even these victims do not have any judicial route here, because Germany has been hiding its responsibility for war crimes behind immunity from prosecution for years,” he added.

     

    “I hope and believe that there will be an understanding of our position here. You have to be aware that the Council of Europe brings together 46 countries, and this is a topic that is relevant and important from the perspective of many of them. I think that taking up the matter by the Council can be an important guideline for the future of Germany – the Council of Europe makes certain recommendations, and sets standards for the observance of human rights,” furthermore, it should be emphasised that “in the case of establishing the unequal treatment of the victims of the Second World War and blocking the judicial path, a request for Germany to undergo a monitoring procedure by the Council of Europe would be justified,” – Mularczyk also pointed out.

     

    The politician also assessed that the Council of Europe’s role as an international standard-setting organisation is currently increasing. In doing so, he pointed to the recently adopted resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which recognised Russia as a terrorist state. At the same time, the politician stressed that a similar resolution failed to pass in the European Parliament.

     

     

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