Tuesday, March 29, 2016

EU-India Summit to focus on political, economic and energy / climate issues

The 13th EU-India Summit will be held on 30 March 2016 in Brussels and on the agenda will be political cooperation, trade, energy, climate change as well as research and innovation issues. The last such Summit was held in Delhi in February 2012 http://eeas.europa.eu/wel/images/doc_icons/f_pdf_16.gif although EU and India leaders met on the side lines of the G20 in November last year. The European side will be represented by EU President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker whilst India will be represented by its Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Political and security cooperation

The EU and India discuss political and security matters in a number of ways and at various levels, including Summits. Political cooperation covers security issues such as non-proliferation/disarmament, counter-terrorism, counter-piracy, cyber-security and human rights.

The 11th EU-India Summit held in Brussels in December 2010 adopted a Joint Declaration on International Terrorism http://eeas.europa.eu/wel/images/doc_icons/f_pdf_16.gif. Human rights are also addressed in the EU-India Human Rights Dialogue.

Trade – EU is India's largest trading partner

The EU is India's largest trading partner, accounting for 13% of India's overall trade, ahead of China (9.6%) and the United States (8.5%). India is the EU's 9th largest partner, with the value of EU exports to India amounting to €37.9 billion in 2015. The EU is also the largest investor in India, with investment stock valued at €34.7 billion in 2013, and is the primary destination for Indian foreign investment. Given the significant potential in EU-India trade, the two parties have been negotiating an ambitious Free Trade Agreement since 2007, covering effective market access and investment.

Cooperation on climate change, environment, research and innovation

The EU and India share a number of interests across a range of policy areas, including:
§  Energy and climate change;
§  Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
§  Education.

India has rapidly growing energy needs because of a growing GDP and population. It is focussing on domestic production, including renewables and nuclear, and on energy efficiency. The 2012 EU-India Summit boosted cooperation in the field of energy through a Joint Declaration on Enhanced Cooperation on Energy http://eeas.europa.eu/wel/images/doc_icons/f_pdf_16.gif.

EU-India Research and Innovation cooperation has been strong in recent years. Regarding academic collaboration in particular, the EU is India's leading partner in terms of joint publications.  Following the conclusion of the EU-India Science & Technology Cooperation Agreement in 2001 India became very active participant in the EC Framework Programmes.

Safe and legal migration key to mobility

Mobility of persons is an important component of EU-India dynamic partnership, particularly as far as its people-to-people facet is concerned. The last EU-India High Level Dialogue on Migration and Mobility was held in July 2012 identified four priority areas for bilateral cooperation: 1) safe and legal migration; 2) combating irregular migration; 3) migration and development and 4) sharing of information and practices regarding international protection of those in need.

The EU and India hold regular meetings of the Joint ICT Working Group and ICT Business Dialogue, covering cooperation on economic and regulatory matters, for example ICT market access issues, ICT standardisation, Internet governance and ICT research and innovation. A Partnership Instrument project supports EU-India cooperation on ICT standardisation, and a new "Startup Europe India Network" initiative has been launched in 2016.

Education & development cooperation

The EU-India 2008 Joint Declaration on Education http://eeas.europa.eu/wel/images/doc_icons/f_pdf_16.gif launched a Senior Officials’ policy dialogue covering skills, quality assurance and the recognition of qualifications. The dialogue, was last held in 2013. India was a top ranked country under the Erasmus Mundus (2007-2013) mobility scheme, and also participates in its successor programme Erasmus+ (2014-2020) as well as under the Jean Monnet and Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions supporting teachers and researchers'’ mobility.

The European Union's development cooperation with India has a successful track record, spanning over several decades. A major focus of social sector funding for the EU in India has been Education, Health, Water and Sanitation.

EU-India – background

EU-India relations date back to 1962 when diplomatic relations were established. The 1994 Cooperation Agreement, which remains the legal framework for EU-India relations, boosted political dialogue as well as economic and sectorial cooperation. The EU-India Strategic Partnership was created in 2004 to enable both sides to better address issues of common concern in the context of ever-increasing globalisation.


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