European Union External Action

European Union Ambassador visits Chennai

10/07/2019 - 12:51
News stories

EU showcases sector cooperation with India including clean energy and water || Ambassador attends EU Film Festival || Meets students at University of Madras and visits National Institute of Wind Energy on Friday

Chennai, 4 July 2019: The Ambassador of the European Union to India, H.E. Mr. Tomasz Kozlowski, is on a two-day visit to Chennai on 4-5 July to highlight cooperation on clean energy, research & innovation, education and culture under the EU-India Strategic Partnership. In an interaction with the press on Thursday and with students & faculty of the University of Madras on Friday he will brief on all aspects of the growing ties between the EU and India which encompass enhanced cooperation on regional, global and security issues, close trade and investment links, intensified sectoral cooperation and growing people to people contacts.  

In light of its commitment to battling climate change, the EU cooperates with India on clean energy and green mobility. Mr. Kozlowski showcased electric three wheelers promoted by the EU-supported  ‘Namma Auto Project’ that were launched in 2019 to promote the shift to less polluting auto-rickshaws in Bangalore and Chennai. Electrification of vehicles helps reduce the dependence on non-renewable resources and creates cleaner cities. In addition to regular dialogue with the authorities to create an ecosystem that promotes the usage of electric 3-wheelers among the drivers and customers alike, the project pioneered the process of registering the first set of electric auto-rickshaws in Chennai. It also collaborated with Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. to pilot electric auto-rickshaws as Metro Rail Feeder Service.

This is just one example of many activities that promote clean energy on which the EU and India cooperate since 2016 under the umbrella of the Clean Energy and Climate Partnership. It promotes access to and dissemination of clean energy and climate-friendly technologies and encourages research and the development of innovative solutions. Areas of collaboration include activities in offshore wind energy, roof top solar and solar parks, integration of renewable energy and storage, smart grids, biofuels and energy efficiency in buildings. In this context, the Ambassador is scheduled to visit the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) on 5 July and meet its Director General, Dr. K. Balaraman. The EU also seeks to contribute to India's sustainable modernization under the Partnerships on Water, and Smart and Sustainable Urbanization, and the Resource Efficiency Initiative.

Ambassador Kozlowski will also preside over the Closing Ceremony of the Chennai part of the 24thEuropean Union Film Festival (EUFF) at the Goethe Institute at 5.00pm on 4 July. The EUFF brings a selection of some of the finest and most riveting current films from Europe to a number of Indian cities. Having started in Chennai and New Delhi last week, movies will also be screened in Goa, Pune, Puducherry, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Kozikhode until September'2019. Further information via the EUFF website.

Ambassador Kozlowski will interact with students and faculty members on 5 July at an "EU Day" at the University of Madras. He will discuss the evolution of the EU, its common foreign and security policy, and the growing EU-India cooperation across the various fields of common interest. Advocating for greater people-to-people linkages and exchanges, the Ambassador is set to invite the students, researchers and faculty members to avail the various scholarships and funding opportunities available under EU-funded programmes for higher education and research like the Erasmus+ programme.


Erasmus Programme and Tamil Nadu: Out of 5800 scholarships to Indian students over the years, 506 Erasmus+ alumni belong to Tamil Nadu including from Anna University, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, University of Madras, Amrita School of Engineering, Coimbatore and Vellore Institute of Technology. The EU-funded Erasmus+ program also supports Indian universities under a variety of cooperation programs, where Indian partners are taking an increasingly active role. Ten institutions in Tamil Nadu are part of the Capacity Building programs for Higher Education since 2014. Europe today has 4000 higher education institutions, hosting about one-fifth of the world's students (20 million) and 1.5 million academicians. Recognized as the leading higher educational destination for international students, it offers cutting-edge education, value for money and a rich cultural experience. Every year, 1.5 million students come to Europe, of which around 50,000 are Indians.

About the European Union (EU): The EU, which consists of 28 countries, has the world's largest economy and third largest population, after China and India. Though richly diverse, the countries that make up the EU (its 'Member States') are committed to the same basic values: peace, democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights. They have set up common institutions that take decisions on matters of joint interest at European level. Creating a frontier-free single market and a single currency (the euro, adopted by 19 Member States), the EU has given a significant boost to trade, employment and people-to-people contacts.  

EU-India relations: For over 57 years the EU and India have worked together to reduce poverty, prevent disasters, expand trade, promote joint research in energy, health, agriculture and cooperate many other fields of mutual interest including global and security issues. The EU is India’s largest trading partner, accounting for 13.19% of India’s overall trade in goods, ahead of China (11.66%) and the United States (9.68%). The EU is the second largest investor in India with an investment stock valued at €70 billion. The EU published a new Strategy on India in November 2018 which aims to further strengthen the Strategic Partnership in the areas of Sustainable modernisation, Climate Change, Trade and Investment, Innovation, and joint responses to regional, global and security issues.

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