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EU-India relations

European Commission - MEMO/13/44   29/01/2013

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European Commission

MEMO

Brussels, 29 January 2013

EU-India relations

EU-India relations: EU-India diplomatic relations were established in the early 1960s, and expanded from an essentially trade and development relationship to an all-encompassing cooperation as enshrined in the 1994 Cooperation Agreement. The latter opened the door to regular political dialogue and economic/sectoral exchanges, which have since evolved through annual Summits and regular ministerial, senior official and expert-level meetings. These dialogues have delivered significant outcomes on political and security issues as well as in trade and investment, science and technology, and economic and development cooperation.

Strategic partnership - The EU-India relations were upgraded to a "Strategic Partnership" in 2004, reflecting both partners' desire to cooperate more closely on international issues in the context of ever-increasing globalisation. During the 2005 Summit, Leaders adopted the EU-India Joint Action Plan (JAP), reviewed in 2008, which defines common objectives and proposed a wide range of supporting activities in the areas of political, economic, and development co-operation. The 2006 Summit endorsed a proposal to prepare for the negotiation of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), negotiations for which are ongoing to this day. Joint Declarations adopted over the years on areas as diverse as international terrorism, energy, science and technology, and education have defined a substantial positive agenda for cooperation which is allowing the EU and India to reach concrete and tangible deliverables.

Political Cooperation - Since 2010, reflecting the strides taken on the EU side with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, India and the EU have enhanced and rebalanced the relationship beyond trade and economic cooperation, by substantially enhancing its political dimension, with a special emphasis on security issues (including cyber security, counter-terrorism and counter-piracy, and soon disarmament and non-proliferation) , while pursuing dialogue on foreign policy and cooperation on human rights

Human rights - Human rights issues are addressed in the EU-India Human Rights Dialogue held locally in India on an annual basis. EU concerns have been expressed over minority rights (including Dalits), communal violence, torture and security-related legislation, death penalty, decent work, human rights defenders and women's rights.

Trade and investment - The EU is India’s largest trade and investment partner. Total two-way trade in goods in 2011 was €79.8 billion, with EU goods exports to India of €40.4 billion and imports from India of €39.4 billion. This represented a year-on-year increase of 17% on 2010. Trade in goods between the partners has more than tripled from €25.6 billion in 2000. Two-way trade in Services in 2011 was €20.4 billion, taking overall bilateral trade for the first time to €100 billion. Negotiations for an ambitious and comprehensive FTA began in 2007 and intensive work continues with a view to completing negotiations in the next months. Discounting Mauritius, the EU is also India's major inward investor and the most important destination for outward investment from India.

Sectoral Dialogues - Shared sectoral interests are reflected in the working groups, policy dialogues and exchanges established in recent years. The EU and India have dialogues in several areas, such as: energy, environment, clean development and climate change, agriculture, higher education and academic exchanges, science and innovation, migration and mobility, macro-economy, financial services, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, statistics, and people-to-people contacts.


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