EU-India Strategic Partnership: A Roadmap To 2025
This Blog is written by Vanshika Rana from Symbiosis Law School, Noida. Edited by Debargha Mukherjee.
“EU-India Strategic Partnership: A Roadmap to 2025” is a report that will guide collaboration between the EU and India throughout the upcoming five years. The EU-India’s 15th summit held on 15th July 2020 reiterated the EU-India Strategic Partnership, emphasizing the common ideals and values of democracy, freedom, rule of law and respect for human rights, with an objective of bringing significant benefits to citizens in the EU and India. It offered a forum to address and perceive cooperative energies in medicinal services, prescription and immunization manufacturing, innovative work, and diagnostics. The pioneers tended to encourage clear, efficient, equitable, robust, and regulatory-based connectivity, and the value of exploring synergies. The pioneers addressed global and international issues and reaffirmed their profound duty to worldwide harmony and security. It aimed to fortify the relationships between the EU and India for economic modernization, investment relations, human-centric digitalization and to reaffirm a joint commitment towards embracing the Paris Agreement.
Foreign Policy and security cooperation
Policy formed to reinforce structures of mutual interest on foreign policy and security issues that will intensify the exchanges. This seeks to improve collaboration and work for maritime security by developing military-to-military ties to combat terrorism. Additionally, ongoing collaborative efforts to encourage open, safe, accessible and secure cyberspace and strengthen collaboration on information security, as well as countering and preventing cybercrime by implementing agreed international norms and principles in their respective fields.
Trade and Investment, Business and Economy
The key goal is to improve mutual cooperation through established institutional structures, in particular the EU-India Trade Sub-Commission and its specialized working groups and dialogs, with a focus on enhancing market access, particularly for SMEs, resolving emerging trade barriers and preventing the creation of new ones, pursuing compliance with international standards and best practices. To continue to reinforce the current dialogue within the Joint Agricultural and Marine Working Group on trade in agricultural and fishery goods, enhance dialogs on macroeconomic and financial policy and strengthen existing European and Indian market associations/chambers.
Climate change and clean energy
The policy wants to initiate to work collectively so as to fully enforce the UNFCCC, devise long-term low greenhouse gas pollution growth plans, jointly promote global attempts to combat climate change by raising the global average temperature well below 2 ° C above pre-industrial levels, and undertake measures to minimize temperature increases to 1.5 ° C above pre-industrial levels. Strengthen the EU – India Clean Energy and Climate Partnership decided upon at the 2016 Summit and plan and introduce a new research program. Emphasis on energy conservation and clean energy collaboration will be given and its incorporation into the electricity infrastructure by smart grids. A further focus will be paid to secure and renewable low greenhouse gas emissions energy efficiency, incorporation of electric car charging systems into the electricity grid, technology science & innovation, and funding for a fair energy transition. Strengthen collaboration on lowering greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the vulnerability of cities and towns to climate change supports the adoption and application of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol and promotes a seamless transition to environmentally sustainable solutions used in large energy consumption areas in support of the India Cooling Action Plan.
Enhancing collaboration on environmental issues through the Joint Environment Working Group and promoting India’s shift to a resource-efficient and circular economy, tackling air and water pollution, and seeking creative approaches to plastic and marine litter and fostering dialog and creating an EU-India Partnership on resource quality and circular economy, work together to tackle the global biodiversity crisis, speeding up enforcement of current biodiversity goals under the Biological Diversity Convention and creating an ambitious new national biodiversity structure for adoption in 2021, thus enhancing linkages with climate change policies.
Information and communications technology
Continue collaborative efforts to encourage open, safe, accessible, and secure cyberspace, and strengthen collaboration on information security to facilitate shared business and community solutions and standards for digital transformation, including advanced wireless technologies and their applications. Foster collaboration between European and Indian companies and start-up industries on improved business cooperation and technology deployment.
Research & Innovation
Further, enhance collaboration in science and innovation on the basis of the values of mutual benefit and reciprocity as laid down in the EU-India Agreement on Science and Technology and further extend its scope and effect under the new EU Science and Innovation Program ‘Horizon Europe‘ on the basis of co-investment in the related research and innovation projects and missions in India. Cooperation on bioeconomy will concentrate on the circular economy, renewable post-harvest innovations, next-generation energy, animal biotechnology, aquaculture, and marine biotechnology and enhance cooperation in multilateral fora. The EU and India accept that gender equality and women’s empowerment are important to socio-economic growth and boosting global science capacity. Both parties have taken steps at varying stages to promote women’s engagement in the sciences. In that end, to achieve scientific success, the incorporation of the gender element into science content is crucial. Joint universal examination endeavors and trade of best practices should help to accelerate acknowledgment of ladies’ full economic, social, and logical potential.
The main initiative is to introduce practical steps to establish the EU-India railway exchange focusing on standardization and regulation of modern railways, decarbonization, digitalization, including signaling and traffic control, creativity, expenditure and the role of the railways in social harmony and inclusiveness, its role in communication and congestion control. Increase collaboration on sustainable mobility, including the implementation of charging facilities for electric vehicles and steps to improve the relationship between the EU and India in civil aviation.
Global Economic Governance
The summit aims to understand the significance of concentrating private resources on climate change while acknowledging the important position of public funding, integrating strategies and programs to combine and optimize diverse financial mechanisms to create viable frameworks for equitable finance, including risk reduction tools and jointly engage and deepen collaboration at the G20 on matters of global and mutual concern, including fostering solid, sustainable and healthy growth; working together to counter tax abuse, evasion and avoidance; making every attempt to find consensus on digital economy taxes.
Migration & Mobility
Strengthen dialogue, seminars and exchanges under the auspices of CAMM on all four components: improved coordination and promotion of routine migration at appropriate capacity levels and promotion of well-managed mobility, including visa issuance; optimizing the growth effect of migration and mobility, including through cooperation between India and EU Member States on social security issues and forestalling and battling sporadic relocation and tending to deal with people, and advancing global insurance, in accordance with the separate commitments of the EU and India.
Employment and social policy
Cooperate on the eradication of child labor by promoting the adoption of ILO Conventions and create an annual EU-India Policy Dialogue covering numerous job and social policy concerns such as workplace safety and health, social welfare, minimum wage, informal economy, the inclusion of women in the labor market and work-life balance and sectoral cooperation. Further explore prospects for extensive collaboration within the G20 on topics such as proper job creation, social security, workplace safety, and health.
The institutional architecture of the EU-India Strategic Partnership
Ensure successful high-level collaboration by annual EU-India summits, ministerial meetings, and frequent high-level exchanges, and improve the continuity of strategic partnership by facilitating research tours to EU and Indian institutions that engage young diplomats from both sides.
Relations between the EU and India dated back to the early 1960s. India was among the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the then EEC. The cooperation agreement negotiated between the EU and India in 1994 accepted bilateral ties beyond simply trade and economic collaboration. This paved the way, along with the Joint Political Statement signed in 1993, for annual ministerial meetings and large political dialogues. As the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent implications raise, tensions between the US and China, the effort to overhaul and restore a multilateral world order has just begun. India and the EU, simultaneously home to the largest economy and some of the oldest democracies, are in a rare position to lead this endeavor. They have a lot to connect with. Both aim at increasing strategic flexibility and its global role. There is also a shared concern in diversifying global supply chains, as is the pressing need to combat climate change. In these endeavors, the EU and India can help each other. The COVID-19 ruptures have been the time for the EU to prove its worth. The steps introduced at supranational level reflect a deep commitment to upholding the basic foundations on which the EU is based. The European Commission’s ‘Third Generation EU Plan’ has surprised with its bold strategy. This is also a game-changer not only in its financial consequences because it helps the EU to take on debt, but also as it demonstrates that the links that bind the EU go far beyond treaties and the self-interest of its members but the EU’s interest goes well beyond its economic strength. The EU advocates international rules-based order, which is constantly threatened by the proliferation. In order to facilitate the structural restructuring of multilateral bodies, the EU and India will join together, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) first to the line. Clear cooperation thus will allow both the EU and India to become global decision-makers.