EU, India agree to strengthen strategic partnership

Brussels, March 31 (IANS) India and the 28-member European Union ended their 13th summit in Brussels Wednesday night by underlining their commitment to strengthen their strategic and economic partnership.

“As global partners and the world’s largest democracies, the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen the EU-India Strategic Partnership based on shared values and principles,” the leaders declared in a joint statement.

The leaders endorsed the “EU-India Agenda for Action-2020” setting out a concrete road-map for the EU-India Strategic Partnership for the next five years.

The Agenda seeks to strengthen foreign policy cooperation, in areas of mutual interest such as Asia, Africa, the Middle East/West Asia, Europe, and other relevant areas including through regular dialogue.

They confirmed their “strong interest in building global peace, security and prosperity, fostering non-proliferation and disarmament, and tackling global challenges such as terrorism and climate change in addition to other challenges such as migration and refugee crisis”.

They expressed their commitment to further strengthen the EU-India economic partnership.

A The leaders welcomed that both sides have re-engaged in discussions with a view to considering how to further the EU-India Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) negotiations.

The EU was represented at the summit Aby Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission. The Republic of India was represented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The leaders welcomed the European Investment Bank’s (EIB) commitment to supporting long-term investment in infrastructure crucial for environmentally sustainable social and economic development in India.

They welcomed a total loan of 450 million euro as a participation in the construction of the first metro line in the city of Lucknow, with the signature by the EIB and the Government of India of a first tranche of 200 million euro.

The leaders welcomed the announcement by the EIB of the upcoming establishment, in New Delhi, of the Bank’s regional representation for South Asia.

Emphasising that the threat of terrorism is global and needs to be tackled globally, the leaders adopted a Joint Declaration on Counter-terrorism.

The EU and India renewed the 2010 ‘Joint Declaration on International Terrorism’ and decided to step up cooperation to counter violent extremism and radicalisation, the flow of foreign terrorist fighters, sources of terrorist financing and arms supply

The EU and India expressed their confidence in the arbitration procedure on the Italian Marines case currently underway in the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to which India and Italy are strongly committed. Both sides will contribute to settling the case on this basis, enabling the cause of justice to be served for all those affected .

The leaders reiterated their commitment for a sustainable, democratic, prosperous and peaceful Afghanistan Aand agreed that a stable and democratic Pakistan is in the interest of the entire region.

The EU and India decided to step up their cooperation to fight climate change and adopted the aJoint Declarationbetween the EU and India on a Clean Energy and Climate Partnership’

The EU and India agreed to address environmental challenges and work together towards sustainable development enhancing cooperation on environment issues.

The Joint Declaration by the European Union and the Republic of India on Indo-European Water Partnership’ adopted at the Summit foresees strengthening technological, scientific and management capabilities in the field of water management and supports the Indian ‘Clean Ganga’ and ‘Clean India’ flagship projects.

The leaders also endorsed the establishment of the Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility (CAMM) between the EU and India, reflecting the importance of India as a strategic partner for the EU in the field of migration and mobility.

The CAMM, as a framework for cooperation, is the start of a longer term process which will lead to deeper cooperation and solid mutual engagement on migration.

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