28th Jun 2022

EU and India agree partnership plan

The European Union and India have agreed a framework for a strategic partnership aimed at raising the status of relations between the world's largest democracy and the EU.

"We agree ... to jointly eleborate a comprehensive EU-India action plan for a strategic partnership ... for approval at the sixth summit meeting" said a statement at the end of the meeting on Monday (8 November).

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The sixth summit will take place at the end of next year.

The partnership would cover co-operation in the areas of technology, economy, the fight against terrorism as well as co-operation at the UN.

The move is a sign of the increasing geopolitical importance of India - as the deal would put it on more of a par with other EU partners including the US, Russia and China.

Leaders on both sides praised the "excellent atmosphere" in the summit in the statement.

"This Summit has highlighted the considerable progress made in strengthening the EU-India relationship since our first Summit in 2000", continues the statement.

Speaking before the meeting on Sunday, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said "in recognition of India's growing stature and influence, the EU has proposed a strategic partnership with India. This will be formalised during the summit".

"Our relations are based on shared values - democracy, pluralism, rule of law and free press", said the prime minister.

The 25-country EU is both the leading foreign investor in India and its biggest trading partner.

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