EU stays far from anti-CAA draft motions moved in Parl

EU executive wing distances itself from draft resolutions moved against India's CAA in European Parliament

The resolutions introduced by the Members of European Parliament cast a shadow over Modi’s proposed meeting with Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, presidents of the European Commission and European Council respectively, on March 13.

The European Commission on Monday distanced itself from the six draft resolutions moved at the European Parliament by its members criticising the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) of India as well as the move initiated by the Modi government in Jammu and Kashmir on August 5.

The resolutions introduced by the Members of European Parliament cast a shadow over Modi’s proposed meeting with Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, presidents of the European Commission and European Council respectively, on March 13.

The European Commission (EC) resorted to damage control measures and underlined that the views expressed by the European Parliament did not represent the official position of European Union (EU).

Meanwhile, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla wrote to the European Parliament president, saying the legislative wing of the EU should not pass judgement on a law enacted by the Indian Parliament.

The European Parliament is the legislative wing of the EU. The European Commission, on the other hand, is the executive wing of the bloc that comprises 28 nations, including United Kingdom, which is set to exit the union on January 31 next.

The six groups in European Parliament — comprising 626 of the 751 members of the EU legislature — moved the draft resolutions, criticising India’s CAA.

The draft resolutions raised the hackles in New Delhi with sources pointing out that CAA’s enactment was an “entirely internal matter”.

“Every society that fashions a pathway to naturalisation contemplates both a context and criteria. This is not discrimination. In fact, European societies have followed the same approach,” a source in New Delhi said.

“We hope the sponsors and supporters of the draft will engage with us to get a full and accurate assessment of facts before they proceed further. As fellow democracies, the EU Parliament should not take actions that call into question the rights and authority of democratically elected legislatures in other regions of the world.”

An EU spokesperson, however, said that the draft resolutions contained only the texts tabled by various political groups in European Parliament. “India is a key partner for the EU to address global challenges and to jointly promote the rules-based multilateral order,” Virgine Battu-Henriksson, EU spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said. “The opinion expressed by the European Parliament or its members do not represent the official position of the European Union.”