Delegation of the European Union to India and Bhutan

About the EU Delegation to India and Bhutan

10/05/2016 - 14:07
About us - structure and organisation

The EU works closely with India to promote peace, create jobs, boost economic growth and enhance sustainable development across the country.

The EU and India are constantly working to deepen and broaden political ties.

Their longstanding relationship goes back to the early 1960s. The Joint Political Statement of 1993 and the 1994 Co-operation Agreement opened a broad political dialogue between both sides.

This dialogue has evolved through annual Summits, regular ministerial and senior-official meetings as well as expert gatherings.

In 2004 India became one of the EU’s strategic partners. Since 2005, a Joint Action Plan has helped to realise the full potential of this partnership in the following key areas:

  • Security
  • Migration
  • Free Trade Agreement
  • Energy, Clean Development and Climate Change

The Delegation was established in 1983. Except for consular tasks, the Delegation of the European Union in New Delhi is functioning the same way as an Embassy does; it is a diplomatic mission representing the European Union (EU) to India together with the 27 Member States of the European Union. It performs a variety of tasks aimed at enhancing relations between the EU and India. Come and discover them on this website.

About the Ambassador

He entered the Italian Diplomatic Service in 1991. His career in the Italian Foreign Service spans experience in the Embassies in Nairobi and London (including as alternate Director for Italy in the EBRD-European Bank for Reconstruction and Development), in the Permanent Representation in Brussels and in the Embassy in Delhi (2008-2012), where he served as Deputy Head of Mission. From February 2013 until July 2016 he was seconded to the European External Action Service (EEAS) in Brussels, first as Director for South and South East Asia and then as Deputy Managing Director/Director for Asia and the Pacific. From July 2016 to September 2019 he was the Principal Director for Asia in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome.


Follow him on Twitter @EUAmbIndia


Welcome message by the Ambassdor:

The Delegation’s work is shared between the following sections:

Head of Delegation

Ugo Astuto
Ambassador of the European Union to India


Deputy Head of Delegation

Seppo Nurmi


Political Affairs

The section is responsible for political analysis and reporting as well as liaising with the Indian government on multilateral and bilateral issues of mutual interest to India and the EU, also working closely with the EU Member States in India and other Missions. The section also facilitates contacts, meetings and visits to foster diplomatic, political relations and inter-parliamentary relations. The Political Section also plays a key role in preparing the annual EU-India Summit, which takes place alternatively in the EU and India, as well as Ministerial and other high-level meetings. Moreover, a number of security dialogues are held every year, in addition to expert-level contacts on counter-terrorism, cyber security, disarmament and non-proliferation, space policy and maritime security issues. The Political Section also maintains multiple contacts with civil society organisations, think tanks and universities. The section is responsible for the identification and the conduct of projects in support to the political dialogues, including the twinning initiatives of EU and Indian think tanks, contacts with universities to support European studies in India.

Research and Innovation Section

The main role of the Research and Innovation (R&I) Section in the Delegation is to provide an interface between the relevant authorities in the Indian Government and the European Commission in the field and reach out to the Indian scientific community and innovation ecosystem to promote cooperation on R&I. For this, we engage in:

  • Policy Analysis: gathering information on latest R&I policy developments, actions and activities in India;
  • Policy Development: contributing to international dimension and cooperation strategy on EU's policies( on various topics going from greening the economy to digital agenda and connectivity)
  • Representation and Communication: establishing connections and networks with stakeholders; promoting cooperation under the EU's framework programme 'Horizon 2020/Horizon Europe', and coordinating actions with the R&I Counsellors of the EU Member States and countries associated to the EU R&I programme.

The R&I Section is in very regular contact with the Indian research community and innovation actors( incubators; accelerators) to create awareness and promote cooperation between Europe and India through Workshops, outreach events and regional visits to universities and leading research institutes throughout the country.

The R&I Section consists of 4 persons. For more information, please contact:

Trade and Economic Affairs

The Trade & Economic Affairs Section manages all activities related to the EU's trade policy. This comprises both the multilateral (World Trade Organisation -- WTO) and bilateral levels, including the negotiation of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and the EU, and market access issues. It does so in close cooperation with EU Member States. This Section not only covers the entire range of trade-related issues, but also economic sectors such as transport, agriculture, finance or telecom, to name but a few. Regular contacts and exchanges with Indian institutions from the government to civil society also form part of its daily work. Not to forget one of the central functions of this Section, namely to monitor and analyse trade and economic developments of India as input to decision-making at Brussels Headquarters.

Cooperation Section- Development Cooperation and International Partnerships

European Union cooperation activities in India and Bhutan are in line with the 5Ps of the European Consensus for Development.

  • People and Peace- Asi@ Connect, Local Authorities for Development, civil society to promote livelihoods, sustainable development, vocational training and protection of the human rights EIDHR
  • Prosperity- Switch Asia, Erasmus+programme, Asis Investment Facility( blending) projects
  • Planet- Renewable Energy Clean Technologies and Energy Efficiency, Disaster Risk Management
  • Partnerships- 2030 Agenda for sustainable development & innovative engagement 'leaving no one behind'. Projects promote South Asia regional cooperation and cooperation with third countries- networking, capacity building and knowledge sharing in different thematic areas.


Press and Information Section

The Press and Information Section undertakes the communication activities of the Delegation. It is responsible for relations with the media and the public, reaching out to them through news releases, newsletters and pamphlets, and organising events to make the activities of the EU better known in India. It also maintains this website and is responsible for replying to all general requests for information about the EU, its institutions and this Delegation.



The Administration Section provides the support to the functioning of the entire Delegation. This Section is responsible for administrative matters, including personnel, infrastructures and administrative budget.

The EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations Department (ECHO)

The European Commission’s department for Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations has a regional support office in Bangkok, Thailand, providing humanitarian assistance to countries across Asia and the Pacific. To better respond to crises at local level, the EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid has also offices in  Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines.

The EU humanitarian assistance policy is a practical expression of the EU’s solidarity with the victims of conflict or disasters, both natural and manmade worldwide. The European Commission has a longstanding commitment to help the victims of such crises; providing relief assistance that goes directly to people in distress, irrespective of their gender, religion, ethnic origin or political affiliation. Working with humanitarian partners in the field, the humanitarian aid department swiftly supplies aid when disaster strikes and continues to help stricken regions after the catastrophe. Aid is delivered to the most vulnerable according to the humanitarian principles -- impartially, independently and neutrally whilst preserving the dignity of the most affected population. The EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department has been providing assistance to people in need since 1992. Its annual humanitarian budget is just over €1 billion, and helps millions of people across the globe each year. Please click here for more information.  


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