EU adopts resolution on Sino-Tibetan dialogue process
Saturday, 17 February 2007, 10:45 a.m.
|European Parliament in Strausbourg|
Dharamshala: At the end of this week’s session, Parliament adopted a resolution on the dialogue between the Chinese government and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
The European Union has taken a close interest in the situation of Tibet in recent months. In this latest parliamentary resolution Members of the European Parliament (MEP) urge a resumption of the process of dialogue between China and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, which was launched in September 2002 but has stalled in the last 12 months.
The resolution, adopted by 71 votes to 0 with 1 abstention, opens by “welcoming the commitment of the Government of the People’s Republic of China and His Holiness the Dalai Lama to resolve the Tibet question through a process of dialogue”, despite their “differences on substantive issues”.
It points out that the European Union adheres to a “one China” policy and also that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has consistently stated “that he is not seeking independence but a genuine devolved autonomy for Tibet”.
Parliament then urges the Chinese government and His Holiness the Dalai Lama to resume and continue their dialogue “without preconditions and in a forward-looking manner that allows for pragmatic solutions which respect the territorial integrity of China and fulfill the aspirations of the Tibetan people”.
While it “welcomes the laws and regulations on regional ethnic autonomy” adopted by the Chinese government, Parliament is “concerned that many of these laws contain conditions that impede or undermine their implementation”.
An EU Special Representative for Tibet?
The Council, Commission and Member States of the EU are asked “to actively support the strengthening of the dialogue and, in the absence of tangible results on substantive issues and in consultation with both parties, assess what further role the European Union can play to facilitate a negotiated solution for Tibet, including through the appointment of an EU Special Representative for Tibet”, a suggestion Parliament has made before.
Call for Tibet issue to be raised in cooperation agreement talks with China
MEPs point out that the negotiations on a new EU-China Partnership and Cooperation Framework Agreement officially began on 17 January 2007 in Beijing. They call on the Commission “to raise the question of Tibet and the resumption of talks between the two sides during the negotiations on the new EU-China Partnership and Cooperation Framework Agreement and report to Parliament on the evolution of the dialogue” between China and Dalai Lama’s envoy in 2007 and thereafter.
In addition, the resolution calls on the Council Presidency to adopt a Declaration indicating “how the EU could facilitate progress towards a peaceful and negotiated solution for Tibet”. Parliament also requests that the Council’s annual CFSP report include information on progress in the dialogue.