EU-India Summit 2016: A new momentum

EU-India Summit 2016: A new momentum
EU-India Summit 2016: A new momentum
  • EU-India Agenda for Action 2020: Both sides endorsed the agenda to create a concrete road-map for the EU-India Strategic Partnership for the next five years.
  • EU-India Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA): Both sides agreed to further the negotiations on an early conclusion of the BTIA.
  • Terrorism: Both sides adopted a Joint Declaration on Counter-terrorism to step up cooperation to counter radicalisation and violent extremism.
  • G20 Skills Strategy: Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to implement the G20 Skills Strategy and also expressed an intention to organise a high-level skills seminar.
  • India-EU Water Partnership: The Joint Declaration was adopted in this regard to enhance cooperation on environment issues, including on the 'Clean Ganga' and 'Clean India' flagship programmes.
  • India-EU Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement: Both sides agreed to extend this agreement until 2020 to boost innovation and research in India and Europe.
India-EU FTA: Where things stand
  • India and the European Commission initiated negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) called the Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement(BTIA) in 2007.
  • Since then 16 rounds of talks have been held at the level of chief negotiators.
  • Negotiations suspended since the 16th round, held in 2013.
  • Sticking points: India eliminate duties on automobiles and wines & spirits; India wants data security status (crucial for India′s IT/ITeS sector to do more business with the EU firms) and easier temporary movement of services professionals.
  • Helena Konig appointed in January 2016 to impart momentum; the two sides met in January and February in New Delhi and Brussels, respectively to take stock.
  • In June 2016, commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman met her EU counterpart, Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, in Paris where the two discussed ways to move the negotiations forward.
  • October 2016: German Ambassador Martin Ney expressed optimism over negotiations to resume by the year-end.

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