New Delhi, 10 February 2012
PR PCE 20
Remarks by President Herman Van Rompuy
I am very happy to be here today for the 12th summit between the EU and India. I have thanked India and the Prime Minister for the warm and precious hospitality.
This morning, we had a rich and constructive discussion with the Prime Minister. We share a common determination to move the EU-India relationship forward. We made significant progress in a number of fields and set the tone for the future. Our common objective is to turn our growing cooperation into mutual opportunities, and to turn our strategic partnership into a key element for the global architecture.
Today we discussed the economic situation in Europe and in India. I have explained to the Prime Minister the comprehensive package of measures the EU has taken to preserve the stability of the euro zone and to promote jobs-friendly economic growth. I appreciated his strong expression of interest in a stable euro and euro zone. He also explained to me the many positive developments of the Indian economy. I expressed EU readiness to participate to the modernisation of India As we share a personal background of being economists by training and former ministers of finance, we know how important these matter are!
With the Prime Minister we reaffirmed that trade is a key component for our economic relations. The EU remains India's biggest trading partner, and the trend remains positive. The overall value of our trade reached 84 billion € in 2010. We discussed how to promote our trade relations further. The negotiations on the FTA (Free Trade Agreement) have made essential progress.
But economic growth and jobs creation depend also on other key factors beyond trade. Both the EU and India have long term strategies focusing on innovation, research and technology, energy. I am very happy that today we are adopting two declarations for enhancing the cooperation on energy and for launching an innovation partnership.
We both agreed that growth and stability can only be sustained in an environment of security and peace.
Since the previous summit in 2010 there has been intensive work on our security cooperation. Today we can announce that we made good progress on a Security Agenda for 2012 in all the areas we have identified: counter - terrorism, counter - piracy and cyber security. I am very satisfied with this progress. The relevant administrations in the EU and in India will keep working in close co-operation.
We discussed also peace and security in our regional environment and around the world. I explained to the Prime Minister the comprehensive EU strategy towards our Southern neighbourhood and the need for the whole international community to help better integrate this area into the world economy.
We shared our deep concern on the Iranian nuclear programme. I asked Prime Minister Singh to use India's leverage towards Iran to help bring Tehran back to the negotiating table. Both the EU and India support the double-track approach aimed at finding a diplomatic solution. I explained the restrictive measures - including the oil embargo - the EU adopted in January.
We also discussed the appalling situation in Syria. I stressed our deep disappointment for the outcome of the vote last Sunday at the Security Council. The Syrian regime should not be allowed to carry on with its outrageous and unacceptable atrocities committed against its own people. We agreed on the need for the international community to pressure the Syrian regime and to support the peace plan of the League of the Arab States.
We also discussed the need to cooperate to help Afghanistan to conclude successfully its transition; I reaffirmed the EU's long-term commitment to Afghanistan. As two global players we also addressed some of the global challenges ahead of us.
We discussed, in particular, the state of the world's economy. We agreed on the importance of realising the G20's objective for strong, sustainable and balanced growth. In this context I stressed the need to implement the decisions taken last year in Cannes, in particular on the contribution to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and to ensure a positive outcome at the next summit in Mexico.
We welcome the results of the Durban conference on climate change and the key role played by the EU and India in the final negotiations. I expressed EU readiness to cooperate to ensure full and timely application of the Durban outcome.
Over the lunch we will continue our discussions on some of these issues. Finally, I expressed to Prime Minister Singh my personal appreciation for his long standing contribution to a deeper EU India partnership.