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India-EU Strategic Partnership: A Roadmap to 2025

July 15, 2020

The Leaders held the 15thIndia-European Union Summit on the 15th July 2020. They endorsed this "India-EU Strategic Partnership: A Roadmap to 2025” as a common roadmap to guide joint action and further strengthen the India-EU Strategic Partnership over the next five years.

In a complex international environment, the Republic of India and the European Union, both "unions of diversity", sharing values of democracy, rule of law and human rights, are equally convinced of the necessity to preserve the rules-based international order and effective multilateralism. India and the EU have a common interest in each other's security, prosperity and sustainable development. They can contribute jointly to a safer, cleaner and more stable world. They therefore endeavour to develop further their Strategic Partnership, based on this Roadmap.

Foreign Policy and Security Cooperation

Foreign Policy

1. Further strengthen and expand India-EU dialogue mechanisms on foreign policy and security issues of common interest.

2. Enhance exchanges in the context of Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum on common priorities between India and the EU.

Security

3. Strengthen cooperation and work towards tangible outcomes on shared objectives of non-proliferation and disarmament, maritime security, counter-terrorism (including counter-radicalisation, anti-money-laundering and countering terrorism financing) and cyber security.

4. Establish regular security consultations between India and the EU, focusing on exchange on strategic priorities, security issues, crisis management and peacekeeping.

5. Strengthen military-to-military relations and exchanges.

6. Further enhance mutual understanding through seminars, visits and training courses hosted by defence institutions on both sides.

7. Establish a maritime security dialogue replacing the counter-piracy dialogue and explore opportunities for further maritime cooperation.

8. Deepen cooperation between the Indian Navy and the European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) ATALANTA.

9. Continue regular exchange of views on disarmament, non-proliferation and export controls through the annual India-EU Dialogue on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation.

10. Conclude and implement a working arrangement between Europol and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

11. Continue our joint efforts to promote an open, free, stable and secure cyberspace and increase cooperation on cyber security, as well as combat and prevent cybercrime through the promotion of existing international standards and norms in their respective areas.

12. Enhancing consultations on UN peacekeeping including the agenda on Women, Peace and Security.

Human rights

13. Reaffirm commitment to the India-EU Human Rights Dialogue as a key tool to promote shared values of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and convene regular meetings to forge mutual understanding and discuss human rights issues - including women’s rights and empowerment and child rights.

14. Enhance cooperation in multilateral fora.

Trade and investment, Business & Economy

15. Work towards balanced, ambitious and mutually-beneficial trade and investment agreements.

16. Establish a High-Level Dialogue at ministerial level to provide political guidance to the bilateral trade and investment relation and continue the dialogue on a regular basis.

17. Strengthen mutual engagement through existing institutional mechanisms, notably the India-EU Trade Sub-Commission and its specialised working groups and dialogues, with a view to enhancing market access, particularly for Small and medium sized enterprises(SMEs), addressing existing trade barriers and preventing the emergence of new ones, seeking alignment to international standards and best practices, easing up the assessment of conformity and improving investment conditions.

18. Cooperate in the India-EU Joint Working Group on sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade (SPS-TBT) to facilitate trade and the removal of obstacles related to sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures and technical barriers to trade (TBT), including the technical working groups on animal and plant health.

19. Continue the regulatory dialogue on pharmaceuticals and medical devices, notably via the established India-EU Joint Working Group on pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical devices, whilst fostering alignment with international standards and practices and ensuring the quality of pharmaceutical active ingredients and medicines. Strengthen cooperation to facilitate bilateral trade and market access for pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Promote a level playing field for the market players.

20. Continue strengthening the existing dialogue in the Agricultural and Marine Joint Working Group, related to trade in agricultural and fisheries products.

21. Pursue a dialogue on customs through the Joint Customs Cooperation Committee.

22. Engage in the bilateral Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Dialogue.

23. Engage in the bilateral Regulatory Dialogue on Public Procurement to exchange good practice, foster mutual learning and address common challenges.

24. Further strengthen cooperation and exchange of best practices by engaging in a dialogue with regards to competition law.

25. Optimally use the Investment Facilitation Mechanism (IFM) established in 2017 to promote and facilitate EU investment flows into India.

26. Engage in a dialogue for adequate protection of Geographical Indications, including facilitating the registration of Geographical Indications.

27. Further strengthen the macro economic and financial regulation dialogues.

28. Strengthen dialogue between Indian and EU businesses including SMEs and Start-ups.

29. India and the EU will continue to strengthen their existing business associations/chambers in India and Europe, such as the European Economic Group, in order to give a coherent voice to Indian and European business.

Sustainable Modernisation Partnership

30. Enhance the India-EU partnership through a wide range of cooperation tools and activities, including through financial and technical assistance (such as with development banks and investment banks from both sides, including the European Investment Bank), consistent with and in pursuance of respective obligations and responsibilities under major international agreements such as Agenda 2030, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, UNFCCC and the Paris Agreementas well as the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.

Climate change and clean energy

31. Cooperate for the full implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and its legal instruments including the Paris Agreement, and of the Nationally Determined Contributions, as well as the formulation of long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies, in line with the principles of equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC) in light of different national circumstances.

32. Jointly support global efforts to tackle climate change in light of the latest available science holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

33. Engage constructively in the second periodic review of the long-term global goal under the Convention, and of overall progress towards achieving it. Further, engage constructively in the global stocktake in 2023, the outcome of which shall inform updating and enhancing, in a nationally determined manner, the actions and support in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Paris Agreement.

34. Strengthen the India-EU Clean Energy and Climate Partnership agreed at the 2016 Summit and prepare and implement a new work programme.

35. On energy, the India-EU Clean Energy and Climate Partnership should focus on cooperation in energy efficiency and in renewable energy, including its integration in the energy system such as through smart grids. Additional focus should be on safe and sustainable low greenhouse gas emission energy security, integration of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the energy grid, energy research & innovation and support of a just energy transition and on mobilising finance and improving the market and investment environment with a view to enhancing sustainable energy access and resilience.

36. Hold regular meetings of the India-EU Energy Panel and regular dialogues between India’s energy Ministries (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Ministry of Power (MoP), Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) and the European Commission to steer the implementation of the work programme of the India-EU Clean Energy and Climate Partnership.

37. Hold regular meetings of the India-EU Climate Change Dialogue to strengthen cooperation on all climate change policies, including by coordination in international fora.

38. Reinforce cooperation on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the climate change resilience of cities and towns, as they are key actors in climate change mitigation, and for the climate-proofing of infrastructure investment.

39. Reiterate India’s and the EU’s objective to step up cooperation and coordination in international fora and organisations in the area of energy, such as the International Energy Agency (IEA), the ITER organisation, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the G20.

40. Enhance cooperation, including with the support of the European Investment Bank (EIB), on investments in infrastructure in view of climate change mitigation and adaptation, notably in the energy sector.

41. Develop cooperation on the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), including on climate adaptation.

42. Encourage ratification and implementation of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol and facilitate a smooth transition to environment-friendly alternatives used in significant energy consuming areas such as heating, refrigeration and air conditioning systems in support of the India Cooling Action Plan.

Environment

43. Strengthen cooperation on environmental matters through the Joint Working Group on Environment as well as the Environmental Forum to support India’s transition to a resource efficient and circular economy, to address air and water pollution, and to find innovative solutions to tackling plastic and marine litter, as well as to promote the integration of environmental concerns and solutions into economic growth policies.

44. Strengthen cooperation on water related matters through the Joint Working Group on Water and the EU-India Water Forum, as well as in the context of the India-EU Water Partnership (IEWP). Ensure continuous support for the IEWP in different priority areas, reflecting the need for combination of good governance and coordination, as well as appropriate strategies, technical approaches, research and innovation technologies. Enhance the partnership between stakeholders on both sides to enable the sharing of standards, best practices in sectors such as water management.

45. Strengthen the dialogue and establish an India-EU Partnership on resource efficiency and circular economy including through engagement and partnership between green businesses, particularly SMEs. Continue to contribute to the resource efficiency and circular economy strategies, formulating guidelines on aspects related to collection, handling, processing and recycling of waste. Enhance cooperation on standardisation and sharing of best practices in fostering an efficient and sustainable use of natural resources, notably by promoting more recycling and resource recovery, in both the formal and informal economy.

46. Work together in addressing the global biodiversity crisis, stepping up the implementation of existing biodiversity targets under the Convention on Biological Diversity and developing an ambitious new global biodiversity framework for adoption in 2021, while maximising links with climate change policies.

47. Step up cooperation and encourage research in the area of soil biodiversity, sustainable agriculture, and conservation, sustainable management and use of forests, in line with relevant international and national laws and policies of each of the two parties.

48. Stepup coordination at multilateral level to strengthen global action on the environment.

49. Step up cooperation in the area of air quality.

50. Work together in establishing an ambitious international framework for sound chemicals and waste management beyond 2020 for consideration, inter alia, at the fifth International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5) in July 2021 in Bonn.

Urban Development

51. Further implement the Partnership for Smart and Sustainable Urbanisation, namely supporting smart and sustainable cities, promoting investments in sustainable urbanization, promoting climate action and disaster risk reduction in cities, developing effective solid waste management & treatment and promotion of circular economy, developing effective water supply & sewage system and innovation in housing.

52. Facilitate sharing of best practices on the implementation of urban projects supported by the EU and Member States in India through the online India-EU project dashboard.

53. Continue, including with the support by the European Investment Bank (EIB), launching additional investment projects in the field of urban transport.

54. Continue to support smart cities in India, such as under the EU-Agence Française de Développement Smart City project, focusing on sustainable mobility, public open spaces, social and organisational innovation and urban e-governance.

55. Enhance support on city-to-city pairing and cooperation between Indian and European cities on sustainable urban development, to contribute to the achievement of India’s climate change commitments, and exchange / transfer know-how and capacities with EU cities in the fields of urban sustainable development, energy efficiency and climate action.

56. Facilitate involvement of businesses in the Partnership on smart and sustainable urbanisation, as well as partnerships between the Indian and EU businesses, to support companies in identifying partners, access to financing, and adapting technologies and business models to the Indian context.

57. Implement the activities identified in the first India-EU Urban Forum and the first Joint Working group on Urbanisation organised in 2019, including on technological solutions, policies and practise for smart and sustainable urban development.

Information and communications technology

58. Continue our joint efforts to promote an open, free, stable and secure cyberspace and increase cooperation on cyber security.

59. Continue ICT cooperation under the India-EU Joint Working Group on sustainable digital infrastructure, services, norms and regulatory frameworks, ensuring interoperability of networks, and promoting international standards.

60. Promote common approaches and standards for digital transformation of industry and society, including for advanced wireless technologies and their applications.

61. Enhance convergences between the regulatory frameworks to ensure a high level of protection of personal data and privacy including through a possible data adequacy decision, with a view to facilitate safe and secure cross border data flowsbetween them.

62. Promote technical and regulatory cooperation on the development of new technologies, such as high performance and quantum computing, artificial intelligence, agritech, healthtech and blockchain.

63. Support the work between Indian and European industries and start-up ecosystems on enhanced cooperation on innovation and technology deployment.

Transport

64. Looking forward to organising an India-EU Aviation Summit as soon as conditions will allow and to build upon it by identifying common goals and implementing concrete measures and actions to enhance the India-EU relationship in civil aviation.

65. Implement concrete activities to develop the India-EU exchange in railways focusing on standardisation and regulation for effective railways, decarbonisation, digitalisation, including signalling and traffic management, innovation, investment and railway’s role for social cohesion and inclusiveness, its role for connectivity and against congestion, including those aimed at ensuring the sustainability of railways, with the objective of fully exploiting their potential to contribute to climate objectives.

66. Enhance cooperation on sustainable mobility, including on the deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Outer Space

67. Set up a Working Group for comprehensive space collaboration, including on opportunities of cooperation on themes such as Earth observation, satellite navigation and space science.

68. Explore opportunities of cooperation in space-related matters in the UN framework.

Health and Food Security

69. Promote cooperation on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

70. Promote cooperation for strengthening sustainable food systems.

71. Work together on health security and pandemic crisis preparedness and response, in particular linked to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Research & Innovation

72. Further strengthen cooperation in researchand innovation based on the principles of mutual benefitand reciprocity, as established in the India-EU Agreement on Science and Technology concluded in 2001, which expired on 17 May 2020. Both parties are committed to launch the renewal procedure in time and acknowledge 20 years of robust cooperation on research and innovation.

73. Building upon the good cooperation, both parties agreed to further widen the scale and impact of it under the next EU research and innovation programme,'Horizon Europe' (2021-2027), and in India's equivalent research and innovation programmes and missions, on the basis of co-investment and co-funding. Cooperation will take place in areas of mutual interest and in support of notably the India-EU dialogues on climate change & energy, in line with Mission Innovation and on resources efficiency & circular economy.

74. Strengthen the partnership in the areas of health and bio-economy. On health research to focus on neuroscience and brain research and strengthen cooperation under multilateral fora such as the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GLoPID-R), the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD), and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

75. On bioeconmy, cooperation will focus on circular bioeconomy, sustainable post-harvest technologies, next generation fuels, animal biotechnology, aquaculture and marine biotechnology and strengthen cooperation under multilateral fora, such as the International Bioeconomy Forum (IBF).

76. Joint research should also lead to increased Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and deployment both in India and Europe.

77. Both sides reaffirm their determination to engage in research and innovation on Earth System Sciences aiming at a better understanding of the effects of climate change and further expand the cooperation in areas of mutual interest.

78. Further strengthen cooperation in Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) under Horizon Europe and EU’s participation in India's Visiting Advanced Joint Research (VAJRA) programme and similar other actions, allowing for two-way balanced mobility and training of researchers between Europe and India in areas of mutual strategic interest.

79. Promote cooperation on social sciences and humanities. To this extent, the conclusion of an Implementing Arrangement betweenthe Indian Council for Social Science and Research (ICSSR) and the European Commission is to be welcomed. The parties also agree to continue with the EC-SERB implementation agreement, allowing for Indian scientists to join ERC teams in Europe for a short duration.

80. India and EU agree that gender equality and the empowerment of women are essential for socio-economic development and the increase of the global scientific capacity. Both sides have taken actions at different levels to stimulate participation of women in sciences. To this end, the integration of gender dimension in research content is essential for achieving scientific excellence. Joint international research efforts and exchange of best practices should help speeding up realization of women’s full economic, social and scientific potential.

81. Develop sustainable initiatives to harness the innovation potential in India and the EU through joint initiatives, such as an India-EU Innovation Platform (or joint centre), soft landing measures for innovators and start-ups, which is expected to lead to co-creation and wealth generation and better quality of life in both regions.

82. Implement the India-EURATOM Agreement on research and development cooperation in the field of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

83. Reaffirm commitment to and continue the successful cooperation on nuclear fusion in the frame of the ITER project.

Artificial Intelligence

84. Work together to share knowledge and expertise regarding artificial intelligence, scientific support to policies and regulatory aspects including ethics, and promote a dialogue in research and innovation.

Global governance
Effective Multilateralism


85. Enhance cooperation in the United Nations and other multilateral fora. Establish a regular dialogue on multilateral issues, including on UN reform.

Connectivity

86. Jointly promote connectivity based on international normsand on key guiding principles of social, economic, fiscal and environmental sustainability, as well as transparency, viability, inclusiveness, good governance, and ensuring a level playing field for economic operators. Enhance connectivity cooperation based on mutually agreed principles of sustainable connectivity including G20 voluntary Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment (QII).

87. Explore initiatives to improve connectivity between India and the EU, and seek synergies between their cooperation on connectivity with third countries including in the Indo-Pacific region.

Cooperation in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific

88. Enhance convergences and work together to maintain peace, stability, safety and security, especially in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, by cooperating to preserve freedom, openness and an inclusive approach in the maritime domain, in full compliance with international law, in particular the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Reiterate the importance of peaceful resolution of disputes, in accordance with international law and through avoidance of the threat or use of force, in violation of the UN Charter. Work together on maritime initiatives for mutually-beneficial cooperation in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, including for sustainable development, protection of marine ecology, elimination of plastic waste and marine debris, and to offer financially-viable models for development of connectivity and infrastructure.

Global Economic Governance

89. Engage jointly in addressing global trade challenges in the WTO, building on our common objective of maintaining and strengthening a rules-based multilateral trading system.

90. Engage jointly and enhance cooperation in the G20 on issues of global importance and mutual interest, including the promotion of strong, sustainable and balanced growth; cooperate to combat tax fraud, evasion and avoidance; make utmost efforts towards reaching an agreement on taxation of the digital economy.

91. Recognising the importance of orienting private capital towards the implementation of climate action, while noting the significant role of public funds, coordinate on approaches and initiatives for blending and leveraging different financial instruments to create sustainable structures for affordable financing including risk mitigation instruments.

92. Advancing the International Platform on Sustainable Finance (IPSF) to scale up the mobilisation of private capital towards environmentally sustainable investments globally.

Development partnership inthird countries

93. Launch concrete trilateral/cooperation projects in pilot partner countries.

94. Establish an India-EU Annual Review on Development partnership in third countries.

95. Explore opportunities for engaging with the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), workshops and supporting actions.

Ocean Governance

96. Enhance cooperation on fisheries at bilateral, regional (including in Regional Fisheries Management Organisations) and multilateral levels to ensure sustainable management and use of living marine resources.

97. Promote the development of a sustainable blue economy, including sustainable aquaculture and the exchange of best practices on maritime spatial planning and integrated coastal zone management, including through research and innovation.

98. Support development of an international legally binding instrument under UNCLOS on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction(BBNJ).

99. Cooperate in the WTO negotiations to prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, and eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, while recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of these negotiations.

100. Recognize the growing importance of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).

People-to-people

Migration & Mobility

101. Explore possibilities as a follow-up to the High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Mobility (HLDMM) to move forward the India-EU comprehensive partnership on migration and mobility, through the full implementation of the Joint Declaration on Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility (CAMM), by enhancing the mobility of students, researchers, professionals and business persons, with return and readmission being a part of this comprehensive approach.

102. Strengthen dialogue, workshops, and exchanges under the aegis of CAMM on all four components: better organizing and promoting regular migration at relevant skill levels and fostering well-managed mobility, including issuance of visas; maximising the development impact of migration and mobility, including through cooperation on social security issues between India and the EU Member States; preventing and combating irregular migration and addressing trafficking in human beings, and promoting international protection, in line with the respective obligations of the EU and India.

103. Establish a working mechanism on cooperation in consular crises, including on consular crises in third countries and on best practices for crisis preparedness and crisis management.

104. Considering the availability of skills and the labour market needs in India and the EU, endeavour to streamline the mobility between them in line with applicable migration and mobility rules.

Employment and social policy

105. Cooperate on eradication of child labour by supporting the application of ILO Conventions 138 (Minimum Age Convention) and 182 (Worst Form of Child Labour Convention) recently (June 2017) ratified by India.

106. Establish an annual India-EU Policy Dialogue covering different issues in the area of employment and social policy, such as occupational safety and health, social security, minimum wage, informal economy, female labour market participation and work-life balance and sectoral cooperation.

107. Further explore possibilities within the G20 for comprehensive collaboration on issues such as decent job creation, social protection, occupational safety and health.

Education & Culture

108. Continue the successful cooperation in the area of education and research and further strengthen cooperation under Erasmus+ as well as its successor programme.

109. Improve awareness of study and scholarship opportunities in India and the EU through Higher Education Fairs and with the Erasmus+ Student and Alumni Alliance (ESAA).

110. Promote balanced mobility of students and academic staffthrough closer participation of EU Member States in SPARC, DUO India and other initiatives.

111. Reinforce cooperation in the cultural and creative sectors, particularly in the publishing and printing, architecture and cultural heritage sectors, including through research and innovationas well as through artist exchanges and cultural co-creation.

112. Continue cooperation in the field of cultural diplomacy.

Parliaments, Civil Society and Local/Decentralised Authorities

113. Encourage regular exchange between Parliamentarians and launch a platform for a sectoral civil society dialogue.

114. Enhance the exchange of ideas on issues of core relevance for the India-EU strategic partnership in the context of the India-EU Think Tank Twinning Initiative.

Institutional architecture of the EU-India Strategic Partnership

115. Ensure effective high-level cooperation through annual EU-India Summits, ministerial meetings and regular high-level exchanges.

116. Consolidate the practice of yearly meetings of Strategic Partnership Review, at the level of Secretary MEA / Deputy Secretary General EEAS, to steer and coordinate the implementation of the Strategic Partnership and the Joint Agenda for Action (Roadmap 2025).

117. Strengthen sustainability of strategic partnership through promotion of study tours to Indian and EU institutions aimed at young diplomats from both sides.

118. Utilize the Policy Dialogue Support Facility of the EU to pilot exchanges in the areas of planned policy dialogues.

This India-EU Strategic Partnership: A Roadmap to 2025 gives rise to no financial commitments and does not create any legally binding rights or obligations under domestic or international law.

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