Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

The EU and India must unite over common challenges

24th September 2008

EU-India summit 'crucial'

The EU's summit with India must affirm the shared values and challenges of the two parties, and take concrete measures to assist India in stabilising the region, Charles Tannock MEP, Conservative foreign affairs spokesman in the European Parliament said today during the EU-India debate .

Speaking in a debate today ahead of the summit in Marseille next week, Dr Tannock called for India to be given privileged status in the exchange of intelligence at Europol, and further steps towards establishing a free trade relationship.

Dr Tannock's proposal for India to be granted a permanent seat at the UN Security Council was supported by a large majority of MEPs this lunchtime.

Dr Tannock said:

"We must support India as a rising global and regional power by enhancing its cooperation with the EU both economically and in the fight against terrorism , and engage with it on the issue of climate change.

"Democratic secular India is of critical importance to the EU in dangerous and unpredictable times and we can take steps to ensure it can become a stabilising power in the region.

"India must be provided by Europol with the information it needs to tackle terrorism as for instance the Glasgow airport terrorists had links to Indian Jihadi groups , and the whole of south Asia will be more secure if India were finally granted a much deserved permanent seat at the UN Security Council, as MEPs have called for today, the first EU institution to do so . India is a global multilateral player and a strategically crucial ally, and it will be of mutual benefit to continue to solidify the relationship we have built in recent years by a free trade agreement which is currently being negotiated.