On 30 March, the 13th EU-India summit took place in Brussels, amid strengthened security following the attacks of 22 March. The agenda, far-reaching though it is, was marked by this tragic event. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attacks and expressed his and India´s solidarity to the EU and to Belgium. Mr Modi met with Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker, as well as with Federica Mogherini to discuss a wide range of issues – starting with trade, through migration, all the way to climate policy. The result of this EU-India summit is a general statement, followed by a more detailed agenda for joint EU-India action up until 2020 and 4 statements specifically aimed at areas of counter-terrorism, migration, water management, climate and energy.
Many insiders see this summit as resetting a stalled partnership. EU and India has had their differences in many areas, most notably climate policy. Over the past couple of years, a diplomatic row with Italy has damaged India´s relations with the EU bloc. However, the two entities share democratic values and are each other´s important trade partners. This resetting of a stalled relationship is therefore widely welcomed. Mainly the long-overdue free trade talks were expected to be given a boost. The joint declarations mention them, but no specific timeframe has been given. Talks on a comprehensive trade and investment agreement have been going on since 2007, but differences of opinions remain regarding the deal´s ambition and some specific sectors. The renewed commitment for a true strategic partnership showed by the EU and Indian leaders on 30 March could, however, mean a certain acceleration of the process.
20th December 2021
13th January 2022