The European Parliament said Balkan states should support a campaign to set up a regional truth commission to establish the facts about the war years.
The European Parliament said in a statement that the RECOM commission advocated by a coalition of rights groups was “an important mechanism for the reconciliation process” and said that all countries in the region should back it.
“We call on the presidents of the countries which are yet to appoint their representatives to RECOM to do so immediately so as to finalise the process of RECOM’s formal establishment,” said the European Parliament in a statement.
The statement came after lawmakers from the European parliament met delegates from Serbia’s national assembly this week in Brussels.
A non-political regional coalition of civil society organisations and individuals has been campaigning for several years for the creation of a commission tasked with establishing facts about war crimes and human rights violations committed in the former Yugoslavia from 1991 to 2001.
The proposed commission would compile a list of all those killed and missing during the wars and an inventory of prison camps and other detention centres.
In its statement, the European Parliament also said Balkan states should continue to work with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
“We encourage further cooperation with the Tribunal and support the urgency to conduct thorough investigations and prosecution of all persons engaged in the support networks which enabled fugitives to remain at large for a long period of time, particularly in the military and civilian security services,” the statement said.
The statement highlighted the importance of war crimes prosecutions in Serbia and of ensuring that the country’s witness protection programme was credible and well-funded.
“We note that Serbia is developing a new strategy on judicial reform and express our support for the efforts to work out a new court system in order to improve the efficiency and independence of the whole judicial system,” the statement added.