The Delegation of the European Union in New Delhi is at the centre of a vibrant and multi-faceted bilateral relationship that links the EU and India and is constantly working to deepen and broaden political ties. While the EU is India’s first partner in terms of trade and actual investment inflows and one of its major partners in the fields of economic and development cooperation, their vibrancy and diversity reflect both the strengths of their respective democracies and the multi-lingual, multi-cultural societies in Europe and India.
India and the European Union (EU) are committed to a dynamic dialogue of equals on all areas of mutual of interest and concern as major actors in their own regions, and as emerging global players on the world stage. In today’s rapidly evolving international order, India and the EU are increasingly called upon to play major roles, both within their respective regions and beyond. The challenge for both is to sustain the political will to continue to sustain the EU-India strategic partnership launched in 2004, when both partners agreed to strengthen dialogue and consultation mechanisms, to deepen the political dialogue and cooperation, to bring together people and cultures, to enhance economic policy dialogue and cooperation and to develop trade and investment.
Since 2004, the EU has itself evolved considerably, with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty which contributed to the streamlining of European Foreign Policy and brought security-related matters(e.g. crisis prevention and management, counterterrorism, counter-piracy, cyber-security) into focus, as well as acquiring new competences in the fields of migration and mobility, including Local Schengen Cooperation and consular protection for EU citizens.
The India-EU political partnership is embedded in a strong institutional architecture. The annual Summits (starting in 2000) and ministerial meetings are the most visible feature of an ongoing political dialogue. Senior officials meet regularly to discuss broad foreign policy issues; regular dialogues are held on issues of common concern such as security, counterterrorism, human rights, migration and mobility, trade and development, science and technology or environment and energy matters. Political relations are also strengthened by the regular exchange of visits between EU and Indian parliamentarians. Experts meetings as well as interactions and consultations in the sidelines of broader regional or international events complement this rich, fruitful and multidimensional institutional architecture.
Moreover, the Delegation is working to make people and cultures meet, by sponsoring academic, cultural and media exchanges between India and the EU in order to broaden the strictly institutional spectrum of EU-India relations by adding a people-to-people dimension.
Finally, the Delegation is also instrumental in ensuring the coordination of European Union positions on topical issues in Delhi, and in representing the EU towards the Government of India.