‘Not Our Official Position’: European Union Distances Itself From Resolutions Moved Against CAA In EU Parliament

‘Not Our Official Position’: European Union Distances Itself From Resolutions Moved Against CAA In EU ParliamentA view of the Berlaymont building, European Union Commission headquarters, on the eve of a European Union summit in Brussels. (DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

The European Union (EU) has distanced itself from the EU parliament’s plans to move a draft resolution against India’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). The EU said that the opinions of the parliament and its members did not “represent the official position of the European Union”, The Indian Express reported.

On Monday (27 January), as many a six political groupings in the EU parliament, most of them leaning to far-left, moved resolutions objecting the CAA, that was passed by the Indian parliament last year in December.

In an email response to The Indian Express on Monday, EU Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Virginie Battu-Henriksson said, “The European Parliament is currently planning to hold a debate on legislation adopted by the Government of India last December establishing a fast track procedure for irregular migrants belonging to certain religious groups originating from neighbouring countries. The Supreme Court of India is currently assessing the constitutionality of this law. As per its regular procedures, the European Parliament published the draft Resolutions. It is important to recall that these texts are only drafts tabled by various political groups in the European Parliament.”

“Let me also remind you that the opinions expressed by the European Parliament and its Members do not represent the official position of the European Union. The EU will host its 15th Summit with India on the 13th March 2020 in Brussels, with a view to strengthen its Strategic Partnership with India. India is a key partner for the EU to address global challenges and to jointly promote the rules based multilateral order,” she said.

France, a long-term ally of India, has also considered the fresh amendments to the citizenship laws “internal political matter of India”. France is also one of the founding members of the EU, and according to French diplomatic sources, the EU parliament is an institution “independent of member states” and the European Commission.

Sources attributed by Express in its report say, the move by the EU and France came after New Delhi diplomatically engaged with the EU and its parliamentarians.

Both Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Rajya Sabha Chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu had slammed the move the EU parliament, while asking its members to not interfere in India’s internal matters.

In a letter written to the President of the EU Parliament David Maria Sassoli on Monday, Speaker Birla said, “As members of the Inter Parliamentary Union, we should respect the sovereign processes of fellow legislatures, especially in democracies. It is inappropriate for one legislature to pass judgement on another, a practice that can surely be misused by vested interests.”

Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu, while hititng out at the EU lawmakers, said India did not need “any advice or guidance” and there was no scope for outside interference in New Delhi’s internal matters.

“Such efforts are totally uncalled for and unwarranted and I hope that they would refrain from making such statements in future,” Naidu said at a book launch event in Delhi.