As a reaction to India’s strong response, the European Union has distanced itself from the anti-CAA resolutions being tabled in the EU parliament. The delegation of the European Commission in India has tried to distance itself from the resolutions of the European Parliament criticising the nation over CAA. India had reacted sternly to six resolutions drafted by the European Parliament lawmakers on India’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which would be tabled and debated next Wednesday.
Realizing EU parliamentarians’ mistake, A spokeswoman for EU Foreign and Security Policy has clarified that, “The opinions expressed by the European Parliament and its members do not represent the official position of the European Union (EU).”
According to media reports, the Indian government sources said that the EU Parliament should not take actions that call into question the rights and authority of democratically elected legislatures. “The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is a matter entirely internal to India and the law was adopted through democratic means after a public debate in both houses of Parliament,’ they said.
The Vice President of India, Venkaiah Naidu too reacted strongly that he was concerned at the trend of foreign bodies interfering in matters that are “completely within the purview of Indian Parliament and government”.
Such efforts were totally uncalled for and unwarranted and expressed hope that they would refrain from making such statements in future, he said. Vice President further schooled the EU parliamentarians, “As a republic with 70 years of experience, we have successfully withstood various challenges. We are now more united than ever before and no one should have any concerns in this regard,” Naidu said.
It also comes as India and the EU are preparing to hold their annual summit meeting in Brussels on 13 March. The EU is India’s largest trading partner and the two sides aim to seal a bilateral trade and investment treaty. As the Indian government has maintained that CAA is ‘entirely internal’ matter of India, the resolution by the European Parliament will have a negative impact on EU-India relations, which has been an important trading partner, accounting for 18 per cent of total exports and 13 per cent of total trade.
The EU has been facing criticism at home as several right-wing leaders have challenged the sinking might of the EU. In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson led a pro-Brexit campaign and won one of the largest majority in the last few decades. The UKIP leader Nigel Farage became extremely popular, riding on the anti-European sentiments. The firebrand leader of France, Marine Le Pen too registered largest-ever tally in the Presidential election, riding on the anti-European Union. All of this suggests that India will not bend to the pressure EU is trying to create over it.
The resolution of the EU parliament over CAA is encroachment over the sovereign Parliament of India. The government must ensure that the EU pays the price for attempting to bully India. The distancing of the EU with the resolutions indicates that it has realized this initiative is suicidal as India sees this as an affront to its democracy.