President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and Prime Minister Narendra Modi held bilateral talks in New Delhi on Monday and agreed to launch the EU-India Trade and Technology Council while also committing to strengthen the strategic partnership. The European Commission, in a press statement, said this strategic coordination mechanism will allow both partners to tackle challenges at the nexus of trade, trusted technology and security, and thus deepen cooperation in these fields between the EU and India.
Both sides agreed that rapid changes in the geopolitical environment highlight the need for joint in-depth strategic engagement.
According to the statement, the Trade and Technology Council will provide the political steer and the necessary structure to operationalise political decisions, coordinate technical work, and report to the political level to ensure implementation and follow-up in areas that are important for sustainable progress of European and Indian economies.
“Even as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, we are confident that the shared values and common interests of the EU and India offer a strong basis to intensify mutually beneficial and deeper strategic cooperation,” the press statement read.
The decision to set up a Trade and Technology Council will be the first for India with any of its partners and the second for the European Union following the first one it has set up with the US.
“They reviewed progress in the vibrant India-EU Strategic Partnership and agreed to deepen cooperation in areas of trade, climate, digital technology and people-to-people ties,” tweeted MEA after the meeting.
EU chief earlier today met External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar and discussed ways to take the India-EU partnership forward and exchanged views on the impact of the Ukraine conflict.
EU chief met Jaishankar shortly after she visited Rajghat today to pay respect to Mahatma Gandhi.
EU-India’s broad economic agenda, with a focus on the free trade agreement, investment protection agreement and Geographical Indications agreement is on the agenda.
The Russia-Ukraine conflict is also coming up in discussions.
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