As the European Parliament is set to debate over India’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) after six draft resolutions against the CAA, France has reportedly dismissed it by calling it New Delhi’s ‘internal political matter’. According to ANI, French diplomatic sources said that France considers CAA as India’s internal political matter and have reiterated it on several occasions.
"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," said sources.
As a founding member of the European Union, France signalled non-involvement in anti-CAA resolutions moved by 600 lawmakers in the 751-member parliament. They added that the European Parliament is an institution independent of the Member States and the European Commission, in an apparent indication of France’s stance on CAA.
The resolution tabled by the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) Group referred to the India-EU Strategic Partnership Joint Action Plan signed in November 2005 saying CAA marks a “dangerous shift” in the way citizenship will be determined in India. "Instead of addressing the concerns, offering corrective action, calling for security forces to act with restraint and ensuring accountability, many government leaders have been engaging in efforts to discredit, rebuke and threaten the protesters," the resolution stated.
Some of the diplomatic sources want members of the European Parliament to engage with the Indian government before proceeding further on the contentious issue. "We hope sponsors and supporters of the draft will engage with us to get a full and accurate assessment of the facts before they proceed further. As fellow democracies, the EU Parliament shouldn't take actions that call into question the rights and authority of democratically elected legislatures in other regions of the world," they added.
While the Government of India has been assertive about its position on CAA, opposition parties and protesters have called it discriminatory against the Muslim community and have been demanding to repeal it. The CAA grants citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Buddhists and Christians from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh with cut off date of December 31, 2014.