Welcome letter from the Ambassador
For someone who has spent his working life understanding Asia and promoting closer relations between first Poland and then Europe, on the one part, and several of the most populous and diverse nations on earth on the other, the opportunity to represent the European Union in India was irresistible. It was, therefore, with great anticipation that I arrived in New Delhi a few weeks ago, and with something akin to a sense of personal destiny that I begin my assignment in this country.
Like the EU, India is multi-cultural and multi-ethnic; it is dynamic and restless. It challenges with its diversity. With its commitment to openness, democracy and the rule of law it is easy to befriend; but with its heterogeneity it is far less easy to understand. Doubtless, it is possible to say something similar about Europe and the European Union! We are both vociferous in airing our differences but, I suspect, resolute in defending our core values.
For many years, I have seen India raise tens of millions out of poverty. It has embraced the global economy as both a supplier and consumer, producing entrepreneurs, managers and technology start-ups in an 'ecosystem' that is the envy of many nations in the world. This is a young country brimming with confidence and asking for its creative energies to be unleashed.
In a sense, Europe is young too. The idea that nation states could be made to voluntarily cede their powers to a supranational authority in the common interest was first enunciated in 1951 and became a reality in 1952. The European Union has grown from 6 Member States to 28, with others in the queue; and, as recent events have shown, there are millions of people who are willing to risk their lives and uproot themselves from the lands of their birth to become European citizens. Those who hear discordant voices in headlines from Europe also acknowledge that its present challenges stem not from failures but from its notable successes!
Europe and India have a new role to play in a world that is now quite different from what might have been imagined just thirty years ago. We must work together to promote peace; invest to produce jobs and growth; and use the power of finance and innovation to make development more sustainable than it has been in the past. My job over the next four years will be to promote and implement the EU-India strategic partnership.
Ambassador of the European Union to India