New Delhi: Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi held bilateral talks in New Delhi on Monday, agreeing to establish the EU-India Trade and Technology Council and pledging to expand the strategic alliance.
According to a press release from the European Commission, this strategic coordination framework would allow both parties to address challenges at the intersection of commerce, trusted technology, and security, allowing the EU and India to enhance collaboration in these areas.
Rapid developments in the geopolitical landscape, both sides agreed, underscore the need for coordinated in-depth strategic interaction.
The Trade and Technology Council, according to the statement, will provide the political direction and structure needed to operationalize political decisions, coordinate technical work, and report to the political level to ensure implementation and follow-up in areas critical to the European and Indian economies’ long-term progress.
“As we mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties, we are sure that the EU and India’s shared values and objectives provide a strong foundation for intensifying mutually beneficial and deeper strategic collaboration,” the press statement stated.
The decision to establish a Trade and Technology Council will be India’s first with any of its partners, and the European Union’s second after the first it has set up with the US.
After the meeting, the Ministry of External Affairs tweeted, “They reviewed progress in the thriving India-EU Strategic Partnership and decided to deepen collaboration in sectors such as trade, climate, digital technology, and people-to-people ties.”
The EU leader met with India’s External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar earlier today to explore measures to strengthen the India-EU collaboration and to share perspectives on the impact of the Ukraine conflict.
The EU head met with Jaishankar shortly after paying her respects to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat today.
The wide economic agenda between the EU and India is on the table, with an emphasis on the free trade agreement, investment protection agreement, and Geographical Indications accord.
The crisis between Russia and Ukraine is also being discussed.