Why India-EU summit matters: Mapping next steps

Unfazed by Brexit, India and the European Union are set to map the next steps in their mutually enriching and empowering partnership at their 14th summit in New Delhi. The 14th summit is taking place against a mutating geopolitical and geo-economic landscape, marked by uneven global economic growth and the rise of radicalism and alt-right forces in Europe and elsewhere.
In his interaction with EU leaders, including Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to raise the bar for India-EU partnership in both economic and strategic spheres.
Besides upscaling economic and strategic partnership, the 14th summit could be a milestone in entrenching the EU’s role as a key partner in India’s ongoing nation-building projects. In days to come, one can see enhanced support of the EU for flagship schemes of national resurgence like Smart City, Skill India, Clean Ganga, Digital India and Start-up India. In particular, the EU is set to emerge as one of preferred partners in India’s quest for urban renaissance.
Moving beyond specific deliverables, the 14th summit should culminate in a big picture view of steering this strategic partnership between the vibrant multi-cultural, multi-ethnic societies of India and the European Union. With the liberal global order under attack by alt-right politics and divisive forces, India and the EU can blend their strengths to champion a new narrative for open societies and inclusive globalisation.

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India, Germany to focus on strengthening economic cooperation

Ahead of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to New Delhi in October, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is looking to firm up an ambitious agenda to expand economic and strategic ties with Europe’s most powerful economy. During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Germany in April 2015, a joint statement issued at the end of the visit had said the two countries have established a robust roadmap for expanding their multi-faceted and mutually-beneficial ties and to further strengthen strategic partnership.

Ms Swaraj who is on a two-day visit to Germany as part of her two-nation visit to Egypt and Germany will hold talks with her German counterpart Frank Walter Steinmeier and a number of other leaders. India and Germany are expected to review their bilateral relationship and focus on expanding their economic relations.

In the joint statement issued between both countries during PM Modi’s visit to Germany, it was decided that both sides would collaborate in areas such as manufacturing, skill development, urban development, environment, railways and renewable energy.

Collaboration in manufacturing is expected to give thrust to the Make in India campaign. Skill development is expected to improve employability of trainees and apprentices. Establishment of a working group on urban development will strengthen bilateral cooperation and also support development of urban planning and infrastructure in India.

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