Africa and the EU

India: Speech on behalf of HR/VP Josep Borrell at the European Parliament on India’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019

Brussels, 30/01/2020 - 11:00, UNIQUE ID: 200130_5
HR/VP speeches

Delivered by Commissioner Helena Dalli on behalf of High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell

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Madame President, Honourable Members of this Parliament,

The European Union and India enjoy a strong bond, rooted in the 2004 Strategic Partnership. It is based on shared values of democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights, commitment to the rules-based global order, effective multilateralism and sustainable development. The President of the European Council [Charles Michel] and the President of the European Commission [Ursula von der Leyen] will host the Prime Minister of India [Narendra Modi] for the 15th EU-India Summit on the 13th March in Brussels. We have with India a rich, frank and open dialogue, on all issues of common interest, as well as on issues where we might have different perspectives. The High Representative/Vice-President (HR/VP) of the Commission [Josep Borrell] was in India on the 16th and 17th of January, where he discussed the preparation of the Summit. On this occasion, the Minister for External Affairs [of Indiam Subrahmanyam Jaishankar] and Prime Minister Modi reaffirmed their strong interest for a deepened strategic partnership with the European Union.

The issue which you are debating today was also part of the discussions, and the HR/VP enquired about risks of discrimination among refugees and migrants on religious grounds under the revised legislation, and he drew the attention of his interlocutors on the need to ensure compliance of the national legislations with international law.

Beyond this point, we believe that it is the role of the Supreme Court of India to assess the compliance of the law with the Constitution, and we are confident that the ongoing judicial process will contribute to appeasing the tensions and violence witnessed over the past weeks in the country.

I thank you for your attention and I look forward to your remarks.

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Closing Remarks

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Honourable Members [of the European Parliament],

I have taken due note of the various opinions expressed by you today. The EU values its partnership with India, may I reiterate this. It is a respected democracy, the largest in the world and the oldest in Asia. We look forward to pursue and intensify our dialogue with India at the forthcoming [EU-India] Summit on the whole range of common interest, including our mutual commitment to democracy, the rule of law and human rights.

Thank you.

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