In Wednesday’s debate, MEPs condemned attempts to distort historical facts and to whitewash the crimes of totalitarian regimes.

Together with Values and Transparency Commissioner Věra Jourová and Council representative Nikolina Brnjac, many MEPs rejected Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent statements claiming that Poland was partly responsible for the outbreak of the second World War. They warned against misinformation and the danger of shifting historical facts.

The importance of protecting Europe’s past in order to secure its future was stressed in the debate. Many insisted that the lessons learnt from “dark chapters” in Europe’s history should lead to more solidarity and the current state of peace and security should be appreciated. Attempts to divide societies through radicalisation and nationalism must be resisted, they said.