A stronger EU partnership with India, including a new impetus to free trade talks, was advocated by MEPs on Wednesday.
MEPs stress that the EU and India are the world’s two largest democracies, which are jointly committed to the promotion of peace, stability, security, prosperity and social justice.
They advocate for a stronger and deeper partnership between the EU and India, highlighting potential areas for closer cooperation, such as trade, security, the fight against terrorism, migration and mobility, the transfer of technology and culture, climate change, development, energy, water and data protection.
The resolution notes that the EU is India’s largest trading partner, urging both parties to conclude free trade talks, in motion since 2007, as soon as possible. European and India citizens could benefit from this agreement, as it could also help to fight poverty and promote the respect for human rights, MEPs add.
MEPs are concerned ”about the effects on freedom of expression and association of the current Indian law on foreign participation in the funding of NGOs” and that “caste-based discrimination continues to be a source of abuse“. They urge to restart EU-India human rights dialogues, which have not taken place since 2013.
The resolution on EU political relations with India was adopted by 520 votes to 73, with 86 abstentions
Parliament’s rapporteur Cristian Dan Preda (EPP, RO) said: “The European Parliament fully supports a truly strategic partnership with India, as the full potential of this relationship has not been developed. Trade, the fight against terrorism and radicalisation, reducing conflicts and increasing prosperity in Asia are some of the areas to be pursued.“