EU Statement on the 29th Anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide

As delivered at the 1482nd Meeting of the Permanent Council, Vienna, 11 July 2024

  1. Today we commemorate the 29th anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica. Our hearts and our thoughts are with the victims and all those still missing. We stand together, in grief, with their surviving families and friends.
  2. This commemoration reminds us of one of the darkest moments in recent European history and for humanity. Europe must not forget what happened in Srebrenica, nor our own responsibility for failing to prevent these unspeakable crimes. It is our duty to ensure such atrocities never happen again.
  3. Today, we cannot take peace for granted. Russia’s illegal, unjustifiable and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine has brought back a brutal war to our continent. As we see the security and stability of Europe and the rules-based international order, anchored in the UN Charter and OSCE principles and commitments, profoundly shaken, we are reminded ever more strongly of the need to stand up to defend peace, human dignity and universal values.
  4. We once again observe denial of genocide and glorification of war criminals. Attempts to rewrite history are unacceptable and must stop. Leaders from the whole region must reject hate and divisive rhetoric and instead work towards justice, promote dialogue and foster cooperation. The best way to achieve reconciliation is by building stronger and more inclusive societies where pluralism, justice, and human dignity prevail.
  5. In commemorating the consequences of armed conflict and remembering the victims, the European Union reaffirms its firm commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. The future of Bosnia and Herzegovina lies within the European Union as a single, united and sovereign country. In this regard, we welcome Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EU candidate status and the European Council’s decision to open accession negotiations with the country in March of this year. In these challenging times, we wish to see Bosnia and Herzegovina make progress towards reconciliation, overcome the legacies of the past, and further advance on its EU path.