24.10. 2012 Estonia: 40 years since the historic memorandum by the Estonian resistance to the UN General Assembly. Joseph Daul MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group
"40 years ago the Estonian people made history by having the courage to peacefully fight for the independence of their country. On 24 October 1972 a Memorandum was sent from Soviet occupied Estonia to the United Nations calling for the independence of the Republic of Estonia, which had been illegally occupied and annexed to the Soviet Union as a result of the 1939 Hitler-Stalin Pact", said Joseph Daul MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group, the largest political group in the European Parliament.
According to one of the initiators of the 1972 Memorandum, Tunne Kelam MEP, the only lifeline for Estonian citizens, after 27 years of Soviet dominance, was the awareness that leading Western democracies still refused to recognise the Soviet annexation of the Baltic states as legal. "This was a desperate message to the West sent in the full knowledge that all participants would be harshly punished just for the simple fact of openly stating their concerns", said Kelam MEP. "We asked for the help of the United Nations to restore the independence of Estonia, a former member state of the League of Nations, by introducing temporary UN administration, by evacuating Soviet occupation forces and by organising free elections to the Constituent Assembly."The Chairman of the EPP Group stressed the importance of the Memorandum that reached Western public opinion, because a better understanding started to grow that the Baltic nations deserve the same measure of freedom and democracy that other members of the UN enjoyed.
"We are proud that nine years later, in January 1983, the European Parliament adopted its first resolution in support of the Baltic nations, initiated by Otto von Habsburg", concluded Joseph Daul.