Strategic Partnership between the EU and India
On 24 April, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen went to New Delhi, where she met the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, and held wide-ranging talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Von der Leyen confirmed that the EU and India will strengthen their partnership and deepen bilateral cooperation with a focus on upholding the rules-based global order, supporting economic recovery, fighting climate change, and charting the digital transition.
President von der Leyen and Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed to establish a joint Trade and Technology Council to tackle key trade, economic and technology challenges, and advance cooperation in these areas. They also agreed to resume negotiations for an EU-India Free Trade Agreement and to start talks on an Investment Protection Agreement as well as on an Agreement on Geographical Indications. The first round of negotiations will take place in June.
India is a key strategic partner for the European Union. The EU is India's third-largest trading partner and second-largest export destination. It is also one of the largest investors in India, but as President von der Leyen pointed out, there remains a lot of untapped potential. The EU's Global Gateway strategy opens new opportunities for cooperation and investments in secure and sustainable infrastructure in India and in the region.
Given their size, economic performance and energy needs, India and the European Union are key in the transition to a more sustainable and green future. President von der Leyen proposed stepping up cooperation to reach ambitious decarbonisation targets, with more intense joint efforts on solar energy and further the cooperation on green hydrogen in particular.
President von der Leyen visited the headquarters of the International Solar Alliance, one of India's flagship initiatives to fight climate change, and met with CEOs from Indian and European energy companies. The President also visited the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), where she met young students and climate activists and visited the TERI-Deakin Nano-Biotechnology Centre, where she met Indian women leaders and entrepreneurs.
Image © European Commission