As long-standing partners, India and the European Union (EU) are committed to dynamic dialogue in all areas of mutual interest as major actors in their own regions and as global players on the world stage. Both are working towards enhancing the EU-India Strategic Partnership, established in 2004 and based on the shared values and principles of democracy, the rule of law, human rights and the promotion of peace and stability.
The 13th EU-India Summit, attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, was held in Brussels on 30 March 2016. The main topics of the Summit were foreign policy, security and human rights cooperation, economic cooperation and global issues such as climate change and migration and mobility. Leaders adopted a Joint Declaration and endorsed the 'EU-India Agenda for Action 2020' which builds on the achievements of the 2005 Joint Action Plan. The Summit also produced a Joint Declaration on the fight against terrorism and agreements on a number of sectoral partnerships.
The basis of the political cooperation between the EU and India was laid in the Joint Political Statement of 1993 and the 1994 Cooperation Agreement, which took relations beyond trade and economic cooperation. Summits (the first one took place in 2000) and ministerial meetings are the most visible features of this cooperation. There are also regular dialogues on foreign policy and security issues of common interest such as counter-terrorism, cyber-security, counter-piracy, non-proliferation and disarmament and human rights, as well as close contacts in multilateral forums and interactions in the margins of regional or international events. The EU and India moreover consult regularly on migration and mobility, trade, economic cooperation, science and technology, energy, environment and ICT.
Political relations are also strengthened by the regular exchange visits between EU and Indian parliamentarians. In June 2015, Speaker of the Lok Sabha Sumitra Mahajan visited the European Parliament (EP) in Brussels while the EP Delegation for Relations with India came to Delhi and Jaipur in March that year, not to mention many other visits by MEPs. Expert meetings and think tank contacts complement these multiple interactions.
The European Union is represented in India by Ambassador Ugo Astuto, Head of the Delegation of the European Union in New Delhi. The Delegation, a full-fledged diplomatic mission, works in close coordination with the diplomatic missions of the 27 EU Member States in areas within the EU’s remit. The EU Delegation is at the centre of a vibrant and multi-faceted bilateral relationship that links the EU and India, and it is constantly working to deepen and broaden political ties. In addition, the Delegation promotes people-to-people contacts and cultural cooperation by sponsoring academic, cultural and media exchanges between India and the EU.