[Editorial Analysis] Shape of a partnership

Mains Paper 2: International Relations

Prelims level: EU

Mains level: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India
and/or affecting India’s interests


• On December 10, the 28 member states of the European Union endorsed a strategy which will take the EU’s ties with India to a new level and help our relations reach their full potential.

• This new strategy is unique as it is the first time the EU and its member states have developed a holistic, long-term strategic vision covering security, trade, investment, environment, research and people-to-people contacts.

Elaborating the strategy

• The strategy was elaborated in a broad consultation with stakeholders from governments, businesses, think tanks and civil society organisations, both in the EU as well as in India.

• There is no doubt that we have achieved a lot together since we first established the EU-India Strategic partnership in 2004.

• A remarkable transformation in our cooperation from a focus on assistance to broader and deeper security, trade, sustainable development and research and innovation ties.

• For example, two-way trade in goods and services exceeded €100 billion in 2017 (making the EU India’s largest trade partner) and our € 70 billion in cumulative foreign direct investment provide over 6.5 million direct and indirect jobs in India.

• However, we are all well aware that more needs to be done. In the past few years, the world has seen important transformations which coincide with challenges to multilateralism, and tremendous economic growth coupled with environmental degradation and climate change.

• The new strategy is well-timed, ambitious, concrete and, yet, achievable and within reach.

• Given our common values and objectives, the EU and India, working together, will have a greater impact on shaping global political and economic governance.

• The EU and India have been working together on the most acute global challenges such as climate change and environmental protection, promotion and protection of human rights and gender equality, as well as international security.

• While strengthening these, we are seeking to further expand our cooperation on biodiversity, ocean governance, humanitarian and disaster relief and outer space safety.

Way forward

• India’s steady economic growth, demographic advantage and modernization initiatives call for greater bilateral collaboration.

• As we share common challenges related to sustainable modernisation, sustainable urbanisation, promotion of renewable energy, water management, resource efficiency, innovations and ICT.

• Moreover, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has a rapidly growing portfolio financing projects in India, helping to address issues such as transportation, energy and access to credit for SMEs.

• We are also keen to advance an ambitious common agenda on economic, trade, investment, and regulatory cooperation, including a comprehensive agreement on trade and investment.

• We also intend to step up our bilateral security cooperation with India to effectively tackle terrorist threats, to develop global norms for a free, secure, stable, and peaceful use of the cyberspace, to maintain freedom of navigation and to secure lines of communications.

• Moreover, as we enhance the joint development of defence capabilities within the EU, we are also keen to develop military-to-military relations with India.

• We are convinced that both sides have much to gain from strengthening this partnership and to realise the full potential of our relations.

• The European Union and its member states are determined to implement this strategic vision to achieve concrete, meaningful and relevant results in full partnership with India.


Prelims Questions:

Q.1) International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) is an international nuclear fusion research and
Engineering Megaproject. Which of the following statements are correct about ITER?

1. It is the world’s largest magnetic confinement plasma project.

2. It is designed to generate 500 MW power with an input of 50MW of power.

3. India is one of the seven member countries involved in this project.
Select the code from below:

a) 1 and 2

b) 2 and 3

c) 1 and 3

d) All of the above

Answer: D

Mains Questions:

Q.1) Critically evaluate the new trade policy between India and EU countries.

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