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      EU: Parliament calls for closer EU-India relations

      Posted AtNoticas.info

      Parliament is calling for far greater cooperation between the EU and India. MEPs adopted a report by Emilio MENÉNDEZ DE VALLE (PES, ES), which champions the Commission's plans for a new strategic partnership. They are calling for extra funding for its implementation.

      Parliament notes that the USA has aspirations for a strategic alliance with India and that China and India are also expanding their relations. It makes a number of specific recommendations to strengthen the ties with India, but also raises a number of issues of concern.

      The report calls on the EU and India to jointly tackle aspects of industrial, environmental and development cooperation, trade, investment and good governance. It voices alarm at UNICEF reports that seventeen and a half million children are working in India, "mostly in subhuman conditions". More generally, MEPs urge India to update its labour laws to prevent the exploitation of workers. The EU should work together with the Indian government to improve the situation of underprivileged people, in particular women, children and disadvantaged groups, e.g. Dalits and Adivasis.

      Another cause for concern is the increasing environmental destruction and MEPs urge India to show greater sensitivity to the question of global warming, while pursuing its development needs. The "alarming drop in the number of tigers" merits special mention. The resolution notes that twenty years after the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, the site has still not been cleaned up and calls on the Indian authorities and on Dow Chemicals to clean up the toxic waste immediately. MEPs also urge India to allow derogations from restrictions on the manufacture of generic drugs for medicines such as those against AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, hepatitis and cancer.

      Parliament recommends systematic EU-India consultation in advance of international meetings or conferences and establishing permanent links to secure "balanced and mutually beneficial progress on the main points of the Doha Develoment Agenda". MEPs also call on the Indian government to take firm action against the dumping of trade goods on the EU.

      September 30, 2005


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