Procedure : 2020/2519(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B9-0078/2020

Texts tabled :


Debates :

CRE 29/01/2020 - 23

Votes :

Texts adopted :

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<TitreSuite>to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy</TitreSuite>

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>

<Titre>on India’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019</Titre>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Michael Gahler, Sandra Kalniete</Depute>

<Commission>{PPE}on behalf of the PPE Group</Commission>


See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0077/2020


European Parliament resolution on India’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on India,

 having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

 having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR),

 having regard to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,

 having regard to the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration,

 having regard to the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities of 18 December 1992,

 having regard to the Indian Constitution,

 having regard to the EU-India Strategic Partnership launched in 2004,

 having regard to the Council conclusions of 10 December 2018 on the EU Strategy on India,

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas on 9 and 11 December 2019 both Houses of the Parliament of India passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA), which will amend the Indian Citizenship Act, 1955;

B. whereas the CAA fast-tracks (a reduction from 11 to 5 years) the naturalisation process for obtaining Indian citizenship for undocumented migrants and refugees belonging to the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian religious minorities who fled persecution in neighbouring Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan and who entered India on or before 31 December 2014; whereas any foreign migrant is eligible to apply for Indian citizenship after a total residency period of 12 years;

C. whereas the Government of India has explained that the rationale behind the amended legislation is to create legal certainty – a kind of positive discrimination – in India for representatives of persecuted religious minorities from the three abovementioned neighbouring countries, where Islam is a State religion;

D. whereas the CAA has sparked controversy and has been subject to criticism as it is selective and excludes Muslims from provisions provided to other religious groups; whereas in a statement issued on 13 December 2019, the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stated that the CAA was ‘fundamentally discriminatory in nature’ and that it appeared to undermine India’s commitment to equality before the law as enshrined in its constitution and stemming from its international obligations;

E. whereas Amnesty International India has pointed out that the CAA does not bring under its purview other persecuted minorities, including Muslim populations such as the Rohingya in Burma, Ahmadis and Hazaras in Pakistan, and Bihari Muslims in Bangladesh;

F. whereas the adoption of the CAA has led to outbursts of protest in regions across India, particularly on university campuses; whereas two dozen people are reported to have been killed and many have been wounded and arrested following clashes with law enforcement; whereas there have been reports of widespread police brutality;

G. whereas critics consider that the CAA undermines the secular character of the State and is in violation of the constitution, in particular Articles 14, which guarantees the right of equality before the law, and 15, which protects every person from discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth;

H. whereas the Supreme Court of India has begun consideration of petitions on the CAA with a view to assessing its constitutionality and has given the government 40 days to respond to these petitions;

I. whereas the Strategic Partnership between the European Union and India is based on the shared values of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights, commitment to the rules-based global order and effective multilateralism, sustainable development and a common interest in further developing bilateral cooperation, which has continued to improve in every respect since the EU-India summits of 2016 and 2017;

1. Expresses concern about the CAA and the wide range of negative consequences that it might have for India’s international image and internal stability;

2. Respects the Government of India’s attempt to assist and regularise the legal situation of persecuted religious minorities from Muslim-dominated neighbouring countries residing in India; considers, however, that creating one set of rules for selected persecuted minorities and another, less favourable set of rules for others will prove counterproductive and may be considered discriminatory; recalls that an effective national asylum and refugee policy should be just and holistic in nature and apply to all those in need;

3. Calls on the Government of India to assess the CAA and its consequences in the spirit of equality and non-discrimination and in the light of its international obligations;

4. Condemns the violence and brutality that broke out in different regions of India following the adoption of the CAA; recalls the special responsibility of law enforcement services to show restraint and allow peaceful protest;

5. Notes that the CAA is being considered by the Supreme Court of India and that the Government of India has been given 40 days to respond to petitions; trusts that any ruling from the Supreme Court will bring more clarity to the CAA and its compatibility with the Constitution of India and India’s international obligations;

6. Calls on the VP/HR to continue a constructive dialogue with India on all aspects of cooperation, including political and human rights;

7. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Member States, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the President of India, the Government of India, the Prime Minister of India and the Indian Parliament.


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