Need for stronger political security ties, defence cooperation and the Indo-Pacific strategy between EU and India: Ambassador of India to Belgium, Luxembourg, and the European Union

New Delhi: HE Mr Santosh Jha, Ambassador of India to Belgium, Luxembourg, and the European Union yesterday acknowledged the recent conclusion of the India-EU Summit 2021. Addressing the virtual session ‘Future of India-EU relations – Key takeaways of India-EU Summit 2021’ organised by FICCI, jointly with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V. and EU India Association, Mr Jha, spoke about the Connectivity Partnership that covers four elements – energy, digital, transport and people to people contacts.

Mr Jha was pleased to note climate change is an important area of cooperation. He highlighted India’s progress, while quoting Prime Minister Mr Modi that climate change is the fundamental way of building India, create sustainable and Green India. He also laid emphasis on the stronger political security ties, defence cooperation and the Indo-Pacific strategy between EU and India.

HE Mr Ugo Astuto, Ambassador of European Union to India said, “The meeting has indeed been a turning point in the India EU strategic partnership.” He drew attention to the trade and investment agreement and the connectivity partnership, amongst other initiatives concluded at the EU India Summit on May 8, 2021.

In perspective to EU’s support to India in COVID-crisis, Mr Astuto highlighted on the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and delivery of oxygen concentrators, health supplies and medicines as an expression of solidarity to India. “Solidarity must be our compass when it comes to dealing with this challenge,” he added.

Mr Harshavardhan Neotia, Co-Chair, FICCI Forum of Parliamentarians & Past President, FICCI talked about ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, and highlighted the importance of renewed solidarity between India & EU. “The generous and swift assistance from Team Europe to offer critical supplies of oxygen, ventilators and medicines worth 100 million euros is truly a welcome step”, he added. Mr Neotia mentioned about the various initiatives under FICCI Forum of Parliamentarians’ in connecting elected representatives.

Mr Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI noted that the dialogue is a 1st in the series of Track-II dialogues. He mentioned that cooperation between India & EU can ensure economic stability, sustainable growth, diversity and inclusion.

Mr Peter Rimmele, Resident Representative to India, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung said, “We need to intensify the digital partnership through joint efforts in strengthening digital connectivity and the Comprehensive Connectivity Partnership for future cooperation between India and EU.”

Mr Sandro Gozi, MEP (Delegation for relations with India) and President, EU-India Association remarked that the 2021 Summit meant progress and there is untapped potential in India and EU’s relations in areas of geopolitical, geo-strategic, connectivity, climate change.

Ms Celine Calvez, Member of French Parliament & President, Indo- French Friendship Group said that multilateralism is important in today’s world and to ensure dialogue in a multilateral & rules- based world along with information, resource sharing, academic & cultural exchanges, R&D and innovation are important.

Mr Valentino Valentini, Hon’ble Member of Italian Parliament emphasised on the need for cooperating on G20 with a focus on people, planet and prosperity.

Ms Stefania Benaglia, Associate Researcher, Center for European Policy Studies talked about Connectivity Partnership and mentioned about investment through private and public partnership and the need for innovative financial systems.

Mr Mohan Guruswamy, Chairman & Founder, Centre for Policy Alternatives talked about the need for increasing Indian investments to EU and doing business with EU, profitable for Indian industry.