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EU – India Summit: strengthening our strategic partnership and moving forward with our common agenda

The 14th Summit between the European Union and India was held today in New Delhi, marking 55 years of diplomatic relations between the world’s two largest democracies.

The European Union was represented at the Summit by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker and the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk. India was represented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini also attended.

The European Union and India have issued a Joint Summit Statement. Joint statements on combatting terrorism; on clean energy and climate change; and on smart and sustainable urbanisation were also adopted. Leaders also took stock of the implementation of the comprehensive EU-India Agenda for Action 2020, endorsed at last year’s Summit.

“We are the world’s two largest democracies. We are two of the world’s biggest economies. We share the same values and the belief in freedom, equality, tolerance and the rule of law. Working together with a like-minded partner like India simply makes sense. It is natural”, said the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.”We agreed that we should take our trading relationship to the next level. It is high time for a Free Trade Agreement between India and the EU. Once the circumstances are right – and only once the circumstances are right – we will resume. Today’s Summit is an important step in the right direction and after hearing Prime Minister Modi I am confident we can move forward. Our chief negotiators will next sit down in November to chart a way forward.”

The full remarks of President Juncker at the joint press conference following the Summit are available online.

Partners for prosperity

Trade and investment represent important aspects of the EU-India strategic partnership. The EU is India’s largest trading partner, whilst India is the EU’s 9th largest partner. Trade in bilateral goods and services in 2016 amounted to over €100 billion. At the Summit, leaders expressed their shared commitment to strengthening the economic partnership between the EU and India and to achieving the full potential of this aspect of our relationship. There are efforts on both sides to re-engage actively towards a timely relaunch of the negotiations for a comprehensive and mutually-beneficial Free Trade Agreement. The leaders also reaffirmed the centrality of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the importance of enhancing free, fair and open trade for achieving sustainable growth and development. Both sides reiterated their commitment to work together with all Members of the WTO to make the 11th Ministerial Conference a success with concrete results.

Summit leaders welcomed the recent launch of the Investment Facilitation Mechanism for EU investments in India, which will facilitate and encourage EU investments by providing concrete on-the-spot support to EU companies intending to invest there, in particular by providing procedural guidance.

Partners in responsible development

Leaders adopted a Joint Statement on Clean Energy and Climate Change, demonstrating their shared responsibility and determination to take the lead in global efforts to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. Both sides confirmed their commitments under the Paris Agreement and agreed to step up cooperation in the implementation of climate action commitments, green cooling, solar pumping, energy storage, electric mobility and renewables, in order to enhance implementation of the Agreement.

Cities across the European Union and India are engines of growth and innovation, but they are also home to many pressing economic, social and environmental challenges. The Joint Declaration on a Partnership for Smart and Sustainable Urbanisation adopted at the Summit sets out the priorities and objectives for enhanced cooperation between both sides in urban development over the years ahead. The Partnership will create new opportunities for cooperation between our respective local and regional authorities. It will build on the experience of the Urban Agenda for the EU and India’s flagship Smart Cities Mission programme.

The Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Andrew McDowell, confirmed the EIB’s largest ever loan for investment in India. The €500 million new support for sustainable transport in India will be used to finance the construction of a new line and 96 new trains on the Bangalore Metro.

Leaders committed to moving towards a more circular economic model that reduces primary resource consumption. The new G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue will be used as a platform for close cooperation on the efficient and sustainable use of natural resources, developing strategies for this crucial economic transition and jointly promoting resource efficiency at a global level. Leaders also agreed to further intensify cooperation on addressing environmental challenges, in particular under the India-EU Water Partnership. The India EU Water Forum taking place on 11 October 2017 will set concrete steps for this engagement.

It was agreed at the Summit to give a fresh impetus to cooperation in research and innovation by launching a major flagship initiative of €30 million in water research. Both sides also agreed to scale up their cooperation in research and innovation by extending the EU-India co-funding mechanism to all areas of Indian interest across Horizon 2020 such as health, climate change, and energy, the latter in the framework of Mission Innovation. An Implementing Arrangement between the Commission and the Indian Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) was signed with the aim of facilitating the collaboration of talented Indian researchers with European Research Council teams in Europe. Both sides confirmed the importance of concluding the Euratom-India Agreement on research and development cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and agreed to work towards its rapid conclusion.

Leaders also welcomed the imminent operationalisation of the EU-India Horizontal Agreement on certain aspects of air services. The implementation of this agreement will restore legal certainty to our aviation relations with India, by bringing the bilateral air services agreements between India and EU Member States into conformity with EU law. As a result, India is now recognising the principle of EU designation of airlines which will allow EU carriers to fly to India from any Member State with which India has a bilateral agreement.

Leaders also expressed their shared commitment to strengthen cooperation on migration and refugees, including under the United Nations process towards adopting Global Compacts for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and on Refugees. Both sides agreed to further enhance joint efforts towards the implementation of the EU-India Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility (CAMM).

Partners for global peace and security

As staunch supporters of multilateralism and the rules-based global order, the European Union and India share a common vision of key global and regional challenges. At the Summit, leaders addressed a number of pressing situations in the EU’s and India’s immediate neighbourhoods, as well as further afield. This included prospects for peace in Afghanistan, the situations in the Korean Peninsula, Myanmar, and eastern Ukraine, as well as Iran, Syria and the Middle East Peace Process. Leaders also discussed the potential for increased cooperation between the EU and India in the Indian Ocean and Africa.

Leaders adopted a Joint Statement on combatting terrorism, marking another step up in the common fight against terrorism. Considerable progress has been made in recent months, including through the regular counter-terrorism dialogue, and the joint statement aims to enhance cooperation in the prevention and countering of terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation, the disruption of the recruitment of Foreign Terrorist Fighters, sources of terrorist financing, and the supply of arms to terrorists.

On 4 October, the Italian Flagship and Headquarters of the EU’s Naval Force Operation Atalanta, ITS Fasan, conducted joint manoeuvres with the Indian Navy vessel INS Trishul off the coast of Somalia, which represents the first ever joint EU-India naval exercise. At the Summit, leaders agreed to continue such exercises and to expand cooperation in the area of maritime security.

Ahead of the 5th Global Conference on Cyberspace, which will be held in New Delhi on 23-24 November 2017, leaders expressed their intention to deepen cooperation in the area of cybersecurity, while staying committed to an open, free, secure, stable, peaceful and accessible cyberspace, enabling economic growth and innovation.

Compliments of the European Commission