Parliamentary questions

Parliamentary questions

Parliamentary questions are questions addressed by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to other European Union institutions and bodies. They are a direct form of parliamentary scrutiny of the other EU institutions.

Questions with a request for a written answer (Rule 130 and Rule 131) may be put by any MEP (or by a group of MEPs) to the President of the European Council, the Council, the Commission or the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The content of questions is the sole responsibility of their author(s), and a MEP can submit a maximum of five questions per month. 


In line with the parliamentary rules and procedures, the Kashmir Council-EU has also requested MEPs to table written questions to the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, urging for immediate steps to be taken to address the human rights situation in Indian-Administered Kashmir. Within a given timeframe the Commission had reported back publicly on matters related to Kashmir. 

View information regarding written questions and answers submited from 2014 – 2024 (including the questions requested by the Council). 

 

2019-2024


2020


VP/HR – Situation in Kashmir

Question for written answer  to the Commission Rule by Richard Corbett MEP (S&D), 23-08-2019

“The situation in Kashmir – which was already dire according to the recent report by the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees – has drastically deteriorated, with India unilaterally changing the constitutional status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir under its control and sending an extra 35 000 troops into the area, arresting local politicians and restricting communications.

  1. Does the VP/HR stand by the UN Security Council resolutions requiring a referendum of all Kashmiris in order to determine Jammu and Kashmir’s status?
  2. Will she propose to the Council that it adopt travel sanctions against Indian army officersinvolved in the atrocities?
  3. In the trade negotiations currently underway between the EU and India, will the EU insist onincluding a human rights clause in any future agreement?”

The answer given by Vice-President Mogherini on behalf of the European Commission, can also be found here: P-002566/2019

“It is the joint responsibility of India and Pakistan to maintain peaceful relations and to find a lasting solution to their differences. The EU encourages therefore both sides to engage in, and maintain a positive dialogue. The EU encourages India and Pakistan to involve as far as possible the Kashmiri people.

Restrictive measures are decided by the Council and are one of the EU’s tools to promote the objectives of the common foreign and security policy. They are always part of a wider, comprehensive policy approach involving political dialogue and complementary efforts. The EU is, at this stage, not considering restrictive measures.

Since 2013, negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement between the EU and India have been in a stalemate due to differences in ambitions between the two sides. Since 2009, the EU’s approach is to include human rights as an ‘essential element’ in EU political framework agreements with third countries. Where such agreements — as in the case of India — were concluded prior to 2009, a human rights clause would normally be included when updating such agreements or provisions on human rights would be part of the Free Trade Agreement with the country in question. The Sustainability Impact Assessment carried out in parallel with Free Trade Agreement negotiations cover(s)(ed) aspects of human rights.”

Lack of political balance in an MEP delegation to Kashmir / Controversial visit to Kashmir

Question for written answer to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Julie Ward MEP, 21-01-2020

Subject: Lack of political balance in an MEP delegation to Kashmir / Controversial visit to Kashmir

“On 28 October 2019, an unofficial delegation of 27 MEPs met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It was the first international delegation allowed to visit Kashmir since the recent crisis began, with UN special rapporteurs, journalists and Indian opposition MPs having been denied access to the region. Although these 27 MEPs were in India in a private capacity and not part of an official EU delegation, I would nonetheless like to draw attention to the disproportionate representation of MEPs from right-wing political parties (22 out of 27 MEPs).

There were parliamentarians in this group that have openly backed the Indian Government’s abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

Last December, the BBC and NGO EU DisinfoLab revealed that this visit was directly linked to a global disinformation network managed by Indian stakeholders, including a fake media outlet named EP Today, which regularly published opinion pieces from MEPs and members of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on this specific topic.

  1. Will the High Representative call on the relevant EU institutions to work together to organise an official fact-finding delegation to visit Kashmir?
  2. Does the High Representative plan to further investigate these findings? What measures does the High Representative envisage to prevent such situations from reoccuring?”

The answer given by Vice-President Borrell on behalf of the European Commission, can also be found here: E-003601/2019

“It is the responsibility of India and Pakistan to maintain peaceful relations and to find a lasting solution to their differences. The EU encourages therefore both sides to engage in, and maintain a positive dialogue. The EU also encourages India and Pakistan to involve as far as possible the Kashmiri people. Any allegation of human rights abuse should be investigated thoroughly, promptly and transparently, in line with international human rights obligations.

The EU promotes and upholds human rights, democracy, good governance and the rule of law around the world. In this framework, the EU Delegation engages with local and national authorities on the basis of the shared principles of democracy, freedom, rule of law and respect for human rights as highlighted during the EU-India summit held in October 2017, while fully respecting the sovereignty of Indian domestic institutions. The EU raises domestic political developments as well as human rights issues in high-level and other meetings. In the same vein, the EU Delegation to India interacts with stakeholders in India in various formats and at various levels, including officials, dedicated human rights institutions notably the National Human Rights Commission, civil society representatives and the broader public. The EU also supports projects in India that promote the rule of law, legal education and access to justice.”

VP/HR – Situation in Kashmir

Question for written answer to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security, by Roberta Metsola MEP, 04-11-2019

“After the Indian Parliament voted through constitutional amendments to change the status of Jammu and Kashmir and bring them under the administration of the central government, popular protests broke out and have been sustained for the past two months. 2 000 Kashmiris, including activists, civil rights campaigners and journalists, have reportedly been detained, while mobile telephony services and internet access have been interrupted. The Kashmir Valley has been a point of dispute between Pakistan and India for decades. Against this background, how is the EU Delegation in India supporting the exercise of democracy and the promotion of the rule of law?”

The answer given by Vice-President Mogherini on behalf of the European Commission, can be found here:  P-002566/2019

“It is the joint responsibility of India and Pakistan to maintain peaceful relations and to find a lasting solution to their differences. The EU encourages therefore both sides to engage in, and maintain a positive dialogue. The EU encourages India and Pakistan to involve as far as possible the Kashmiri people. Restrictive measures are decided by the Council and are one of the EU’s tools to promote the objectives of the common foreign and security policy. They are always part of a wider, comprehensive policy approach involving political dialogue and complementary efforts. The EU is, at this stage, not considering restrictive measures. Since 2013, negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement between the EU and India have been in a stalemate due to differences in ambitions between the two sides. Since 2009, the EU’s approach is to include human rights as an ‘essential element’ in EU political framework agreements with third countries. Where such agreements — as in the case of India — were concluded prior to 2009, a human rights clause would normally be included when updating such agreements or provisions on human rights would be part of the Free Trade Agreement with the country in question. The Sustainability Impact Assessment carried out in parallel with Free Trade Agreement negotiations cover(s)(ed) aspects of human rights.”

 


2014-2019


2019

VP/HR – Rising tensions between India and Pakistan

Question for written answer E-001100/2019 to the Commission by Alex Mayer MEP (S&D)

28-02-2019
Subject: VP/HR — Rising tensions between India and Pakistan
“In the light of the rising tensions between India and Pakistan, can the Commission:
  1. Provide an update on the discussions it has had with the Indian and Pakistani Governments and at the United Nations with a view to de-escalating the current conflict;
  2. State what discussion it has had with a view to resolving the underlying issue of the failure to implement UN Resolutions 39 and 47 adopted in 1948;
  3. Explain what effect the current situation is having on the ability of the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) to provide humanitarian aid to people living in Kashmir?”
The answer was given  by Vice-President Mogherini on behalf of the European Commission, can also be found here: E-001100/2019
 

“In her statement of 27 February 2019(1), the High Representative/Vice-President of the European Commission underlined that the military escalation between India and Pakistan, following the terrorist attack in Pulwama on 14 February 2019, has the potential to lead to serious and dangerous consequences for both countries as well as the wider region.

Following this, the EU has actively engaged with both sides over the past weeks. The High Representative/Vice-President of the European Commission held a telephone conversation with Pakistani Foreign Minister Qureshi on 24 February 2019. The EU also engaged in Brussels with India and Pakistan and via its Delegations in New Delhi, Islamabad and New York. In these contacts, the EU has underlined the importance to de-escalate the situation and the need to continue addressing cross-border terrorism. The resumption of dialogue, both at diplomatic and political level is now vital. The EU will continue to encourage India and Pakistan to find a lasting resolution to the situation in Kashmir, by involving as far as possible the Kashmiri people. The EU is committed to working with India and Pakistan and the international community to combat terrorism and terrorist threats in all their forms. In this context, the EU expects Pakistan to continue delivering action against extremist and militant organisations operating from its territory. The EU will also continue to combat the radicalisation and violent extremism that sustain terrorism. As regards humanitarian aid, the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) does not have any ongoing humanitarian actions in Kashmir. The last humanitarian project supported by ECHO in Kashmir ended in 2017.”


2018

VP/HR – Kashmir rape case

Question for written answer E-002805/2018 to the Commission by Barbara Matera MEP (PPE), 24-05-2018

Subject: VP/HR – Kashmir rape case
“An 8-year-old Muslim girl from a nomadic community was raped and killed by six Indian men. India has accepted significant legal reforms with regard to sexual assault and rape, but there are still major shortcomings. Multiple police and Indian government officials have tried to stop the arrest of these
men. The police’s excuse for defending a group of child rapists was that it was an effort to drive the Muslim population out of area.
This is an unacceptable act. How can the VP/HR express our utmost revulsion at this act?
How can the Commission encourage religious tolerance in Kashmir and the areas surrounding it?”

The answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini, can also be found here: E-002805/2018.

“The HR/VP is aware of the rape and killing of an 8-year girl. The available details about the case were the result of Indian police investigation. The EU Delegation in New Delhi continues to follow the case. The rape and killing of any child is an unacceptable act. All states have a responsibility to respect and to ensure human rights to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction. The protection and promotion of women and girls’ full enjoyment of all human rights, gender equality and the rights of the child are key EU priorities, globally and in our engagement with India. As a universal human right, freedom of religion or belief is a priority under the EU’s human rights policy. The EU defends and promotes the position that freedom of religion or belief is a fundamental right to which everyone is entitled, everywhere. The EU believes that religious tolerance could help ensuring peace, stability and the safety of people particularly women and children.”


2016


VP/HR – Kashmir conflict

Question for written answer E-006518/2016 to the Commission by Afzal Khan MEP (S&D), 31-08-2016

Subject: VP/HR – Kashmir conflict
“In view of the continuing civil unrest in Kashmir since 8 July 2016, and given the use by the police and military of pellet guns which inflict severe injuries indiscriminately on unarmed demonstrators and passers-by, can the VP/HR:

  1. Clarify the Union’s position on the use of pellet guns against civilians
  2. Provide details of the humanitarian aid to Kashmir being provided by ECHO?
  3. Give an assessment of the current role of the EU in seeking a resolution to the Kashmir conflict

The answer given by Vice-President Mogherini on behalf of the Commission, can also be found here: E-006518/2016

“1. Any use of pellet guns should be in line with the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials. Provision five of the Basic Principles states: Whenever the lawful use of force and firearms is unavoidable, law enforcement officials shall exercise restraint in such use and act in proportion to the seriousness of the offence; minimise damage and injury, and respect and preserve human life; ensure that assistance and medical aid are rendered to any injured or affected person at the earliest moment.

2. The Commission supports projects facilitating access to appropriate medical care for victims of recent violence, with a focus on children from vulnerable families, as well as providing therapeutic rehabilitation, orthoses and prosthetic services.

3. The EU’s longstanding position is to support the reconciliation process between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, particularly through dialogue, and to call for the Kashmiri people themselves to be as involved as possible in this process. This position remains unchanged. The EU continues to monitor the situation and remains in contact with Indian and Pakistani authorities.”

VP/HR – Situation in Kashmir

Question for written answer P-005986/2016 to the Commission by Amjad Bashir MEP (ECR), 20-07-2016

Subject: VP/HR — Situation in Kashmir
“I am sure that the attention of the VP/HR has been drawn to recent events in the disputed territories of Jammu and Kashmir. A recent flare-up in violence has once again highlighted how the Indian Government’s irresponsible actions have served only to help the entire region erupt in fury. The excessive force used by Indian security personnel is the latest example of gross incompetence that must be added to a long list of crimes, including beatings, rape as a weapon of subjugation and detentions without trial. The Indian Government has, in effect, turned Kashmir into a legal vacuum where genuine rule of law does not apply. The European Union cannot stand by while these dramatic events unfold.

What assurances can the VP/HR give me that she will be holding the Indian Government to account, pressuring it to act as a responsible stakeholder in the region?”

The answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini, can be also found here: P-005986/2016

“The EU is aware of the recent events in Jammu and Kashmir. The restoration of calm, and maintaining law and order with the necessary restraint, are vital to guarantee the safety and security of the people of Kashmir. It is a longstanding position of the EU to support the reconciliation process between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, particularly through dialogue, and to call for the Kashmiri people themselves to be as involved as possible in this process. This position remains unchanged. The EU continues to monitor the situation and remains in contact with Indian and Pakistani authorities.”


2015

EU support for the cessation of violence in Kashmir

Question for written answer E-001206/2015 to the Commission by Diane Dodds MEP (NI)

“Can the Commission please detail what diplomatic action it is taking to encourage a cessation of the recent upsurge in violence between Indian and Pakistani troops in Kashmir?”

The answer was given by Vice-President Mogherini on behalf of the Commission, can be also found here: E-001206/2015.

“The HR/VP is aware of recent incidents between India and Pakistan in the region of Jammu and Kashmir. The EU continues, in the context of regular dialogues with the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and the Pakistani Ministry for Foreign Affairs, to encourage the two countries to pursue dialogue and to foster cooperation in the interest of regional stability and in particular of the people of Kashmir.The EU further supports people-to-people initiatives and confidence building measures in this regard.”

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