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India-EU leaders’ meeting gives new momentum to ties

Besides a huge symbolic relevance of the India-EU leaders’ meeting, the resumption of free trade agreement negotiations and connectivity partnership will provide a right momentum to strategic partnership 

May 10, 2021 / 03:30 PM IST
PM Narendra Modi'

PM Narendra Modi'

The India-European Union (EU) leaders’ meeting hosted from Porto, in Portugal, confirms that bilateral ties have come a long way since the first EU-India summit in 2000. Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually met all the 27 EU leaders as well as presidents of the European Council and the European Commission.

Apart from outcomes, the symbolic value of such meeting cannot be underestimated. The EU rarely meets foreign leaders in this format. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the Commission described it not only a historic and landmark summit, but also a remarkable, outstanding and extraordinary meeting.

Apart from reaffirming broader issues agreed during earlier summits and announced under Roadmap 2025 last year, the major outcomes include resumption of FTA negotiations, connectivity partnership, artificial intelligence task force and a joint working group on resilient supply chains.

As core of the partnership is economics, the resumption of FTA negotiations has the potential to provide a new direction to EU-India ties. Negotiations on a comprehensive FTA started in 2007. The agenda included goods and services trade, investment, public procurement, intellectual property and competition.