India and the European Union have just marked the 55th anniversary of diplomatic relations. The partners celebrated this occasion during their 14th summit that has taken place in New Delhi. The biggest themes in the current EU-India cooperation are combatting terrorism, clean energy and climate change as well as smart and sustainable urbanization. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker praised the cooperation by reminding of the mutual values: “We are the world’s two largest democracies. We are two of the world’s biggest economies. We share the same values and the belief in freedom, equality, tolerance and the rule of law. Working together with a like-minded partner like India simply makes sense. It is natural”.
Mr. Juncker also stressed that it was about time for both sides to take the partnership to the next level by finalizing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Trade and investment represent an important aspect of the EU-India strategic partnership since the bloc is India’s largest trading partner while India is the EU’s 9th largest partner. Trade in goods and services in 2016 totaled more than €100 billion. Both sides expressed their commitment to boosting the economic relations by re-engaging towards a timely re-launch of the FTA negotiations.
The summit also praised the recent launch of the Investment Facilitation Mechanism for EU investment in India, which will encourage EU investment by providing tangible support to European businesses aiming to invest in India. European and Indian leaders also emphasized their shared responsibility and determination to lead global efforts to fight climate change and adapt to its effects. Both sides confirmed their commitments to the Paris deal and agreed to step up their dialogue on the environment.