India-EU to enhance military cooperation in the Indian Ocean region, Strategic Partnership Agreement planned

By: | Published: November 21, 2018 5:46 PM

The Joint Communication replaces the last Commission Communication on India of 2004, recognising that India has emerged as the fastest-growing large economy and has acquired an important geopolitical role.

India-EU to enhance military cooperation in the Indian Ocean region, Strategic Partnership Agreement planned

The European Union (EU) and India are going to have military cooperation in the Indian Ocean region. EU is also considering the possibility to negotiate with India a Strategic Partnership Agreement, in order to update the 1994 EU-India Cooperation Agreement.

Ambassador to India Tomasz Kozlowski said that, “Both India and EU understand each other better than before. For us India is on top of the agenda in the field of our external relations and we are ready for a joint leap.”

Interacting with the media at roundtable organised for presenting the key points of the paper on ‘Elements for an EU strategy on India’ adopted by the European Commission on Tuesday in Brussels, “The strategy aims at building a partnership for sustainable modernisation and the rules-based global order, ” the EU Ambassador said.

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Responding to a question about India being part of Quad, the EU ambassador said “Our approach to managing international relations is based on multilateral approach.” Both sides are working towards deepening their counter-cooperation to effectively deal with the challenge of terrorism in the region.

The EU has also invited India to escort WFP vessels (the UN World Food Programme (WFP) chartered ship) to transport food to Somalia and New Delhi has shown its readiness, the envoy said.

While India and EU are supportive of the implementation of the Iran deal, the EU envoy pointed out that Chabahar Port will play a major role in connecting India with Central Asia and Afghanistan.

On the stalled India-EU FTA, the envoy pointed out that previously it was treated just as an agenda, however now it is more broad based. “The two sides would soon start contacts on more general and very specific issues to break the deadlock.”

“We are fully committed to the work on a comprehensive bilateral meaningful agreement on trade and investment. We are in the process of active contacts on more general and very specific issues. Let us see how these contacts will finish. But my feeling is that there is political will and trust on both sides,” Kozlowski said.

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According to Kozlowski, the EU is all set to explore different options for starting negotiations on data adequacy (security) status with India in the future.

The European Union Wednesday unveiled a ‘strategy paper’ outlining the broad roadmap for stepping up cooperation with India in a range of key sectors, including trade, investment, defence and security, innovation, and on dealing with various global challenges.

The Joint Communication replaces the last Commission Communication on India of 2004, recognising that India has emerged as the fastest-growing large economy and has acquired an important geopolitical role.

The aim of the new strategy document is to strengthen the EU-India Strategic Partnership by focusing on sustainable modernisation and on common responses to global and regional issues.

The paper has stated that the EU wants to further reinforce political, economic and people-to-people ties with India in order to address together global challenges, to promote together economic growth and to expand together business opportunities.

The EU will seek to consolidate dialogue on multilateral issues, and to coordinate positions with India. Cooperation in the framework of the UN, the WTO and the G20 will be of priority.

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