India and Europe have shared a very significant relationship for a long time. Europe has been one of the largest source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India. After the increase in tensions with China, Europe’s perception of India has started to change.
“The first India-EU summit took place in June (2000) in Lisbon. “
There has been regular interaction between Europe and India since then. We have had 15 summits after that. The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the EU and India has been pending since 2007. Some problems just can’t be ignored, and the economy’s slow growth was the main priority problem for both countries. There was a geopolitical plan to make India among the most populous democracies globally, as India has maintained a friendly Asian continent position.
Purpose of Summits
Each summit comes up with new and innovative ways to strengthen the European Union and India’s relationship.
One of the greatest secrets to Europe’s success is that it is open to trade with the world. On the other hand, India’s trade has been showing a downward slope.
“The 15th India-EU Summit, which was delayed due to the Covid-19 outbreak, was held via video conferencing on July 15, 2020. “
Key points around the presentation
India was represented by its respected Prime minister Mr. Narendra Modi. And President Mr.Charles Michel represented the EU.
The reason behind the meeting
The two of the largest democracies of the world often meet to discuss various economic and commercial issues. As usual, they conducted this meeting to strive towards a peaceful economy, create job opportunities, uplift economic growth, and enhance viable development. One unusual topic that was discussed was the impact of coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has been a reason for the economic slowdown in many countries, including Europe and India.
Every India-EU summit aims to enhance the relations between them as the enhanced ties would result in a more significant global economy of both countries. It will bring more Foreign exchange.
Topics discussed at the event
As was already decided, the meeting was conducted to review the working of the economy. Amidst the pandemic, both the countries also discussed many things related to the coronavirus pandemic. As they discussed how to tackle the problem we are facing today, they both suggested some fantastic ideas to help us through this time.
“The summit was an excellent opportunity for India and the EU to strengthen there strategic relationships based on shared principles and values of democracy, freedom, and the law.”
The impact of Covid-19 outbreak on this summit
The Covid-19 pandemic started in around December 2019 in Wuhan, China. Since then, the whole world is suffering due to this pandemic. Europe and India were expected to come out with ways to keep up in this tough time, both economically and mentally. They discussed the impact of Covid-19 on international trade/foreign affairs, migration of people, and many other problems that the economy is facing.
There is a drastic rise in the unemployment level due to the lockdown, which was necessary to fight the pandemic and follow social distancing. The government revenue has also decreased as tax collection has gone down. The market has been closed. There is a stress on the supply chain, too, due to a reduction in consumer activities. Keeping this in mind, India and Europe had to make a long and robust economic relationship.
After knowing about the main topic of discussions, let us look at what these countries agreed upon.
Through this, the EU is also looking ahead for the presidency in India’s G20, 2022.
Therefore, they signed the welcome agreement on “Research And Development Cooperation.” In this agreement, they introduced the new and effective ways of using nuclear energy, human rights, digital and virtual economy, climate changes, increased use of renewable resources, and many more. They also welcomed the EU-India’s upcoming agreement, popularly known as the “Science and technology agreement” for the next five years. The deal opens the door to the need to enhance innovation and technology in both the democracies. They gave their time to make a five-year roadmap for strengthening their trade relationship through various routes.
Both countries have SOEs that help in government support. However, efforts are made to privatize them to bring transparency in business transactions and give self-employed independence. The coronavirus pandemic has proven that public health is the most critical global challenge due to the lack of technology. But global alliances are working on making the world a better place to live.
India and the EU should lookout for ways to excel in technology and privacy provisions. They can also look forward to financing the projects on sustainable growth like that of the UK’s Green Growth Equity Fund. However, for this, India and the EU have to make a long-term and robust plan. It will bring the economy to its normal position.