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EU, India strengthen strategic partnership on connectivity, trade

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EU, India strengthen strategic partnership on connectivity, trade

Ursula von der Leyen - Photo © European Union 2021

(BRUSSELS) - The European Union and India concluded at the weekend a connectivity partnership, and agreed to resume negotiations on a free trade agreement and launch talks on an investment protection agreement.

At the summit, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen joined Council President Charles Michel, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell, the 27 EU Heads of State or Government and the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi via video conference for the landmark EU-India leaders' meeting.

The leaders' agreed a joint statement, which covers the breadth of the discussions and gives further impetus to cooperation moving forward.

"It was a remarkable Summit because it widened the scope and the view on the untapped potential in the relationship of the European Union and India", said President von der Leyen at the joint press conference.

The European Union and India have agreed to resume negotiations on a free trade agreement and to launch negotiations on an investment protection agreement and on an agreement on geographical indications.

Leaders also concluded the EU-India Connectivity Partnership, which will bring collaboration on supporting resilient and sustainable connectivity both in India and in third countries and regions, including Africa, Central Asia and the Indo-Pacific.

The meeting was also an opportunity to reiterate the European Union's full solidarity with the Indian people in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The European Union has mobilised oxygen, medicines, and equipment worth over €100 million co-ordinated through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

Leaders discussed climate change and the need to set ambitious goals ahead of COP26 later this year, as well as the digital transformation, global digital standards, and regulatory convergence.

They also discussed foreign and security challenges and possibilities for cooperation, in particular in light of the EU's recently-adopted Indo-Pacific Strategy.

Reaffirming their mutual commitment to protect and promote human rights, they agreed to intensify cooperation in human rights fora.

One day before the leaders' meeting, the European Investment Bank announced three new measures totalling €325 million to support India's coronavirus recovery.

Website of the EU-India Leaders' Meeting

EU-India Leaders' Meeting Joint Summit Statement

EU-India Leaders' Meeting factsheet

EU-India Connectivity Partnership text

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