On Wednesday, India and European Union(EU) have committed a framework for strategic cooperation till the year 2025 and planned for addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and at the United Nations Security Council. India’s PM Narendra Modi made an assurance with European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen. The summit took place digitally, through video conferencing.
A high-level dialogue between Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan forwarded the Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA). This was in response to the free trade agreement which has been suspended since 2013.
Mr Modi stated that India and EU are natural partners and this partnership is necessary for global peace and stability under the current COVID crisis around the world. He also referred share universal values of democracy, respect and multilateralism.
The External Affairs Ministry today told that the India-EU summit was held in a very cordial atmosphere with mutual respect and appreciation between the leaders. Secretary, Vikas Swarup said that the EU is one of the largest investors in India with an investment of over $91 billion. He added that India’s relations with the EU are very active and cover all the dimensions.
India’s border tensions with China at LAC were also discussed among the officials, the conditioning with Iran, and cross border terrorism having its roots from Pakistan. The state of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir was the point of concern among the leaders and the Citizenship Amendment Act. Mr. Michel said that regarding the Citizenship Law India knows that in the European Parliament this was an important issue and it was raised in the talks. He said that he trusted Indian institutions and he well understood the decision of the Supreme Court will play a major role in assessing the legislation. He further added that the EU took a decision with India to continue a dialogue on human rights in order to exchange best practices and have the best understanding of how to tackle this issue.
When compared with China, Mr. Leyen said that both countries were very different although they have a common interest in tackling climate change and building trade. We are committed to defending our values.
A joint political map was issued, which is a five-year roadmap for the India-EU strategic partnership. A Civil Nuclear Research and development cooperation agreement Dept. Of Atomic Energy and EURATOM was made. It would help in the exchange of best practices in science & technology for the next five years.
Both sides emphasized bilateral trade as the EU is India’s largest trading partner and India stands at 9th position on EU trading partners. Also PM Modi programs for integrating domestic production in India to global supply chains.