India, EU discuss Covid-19 crisis and resumption of negotiations on trade pact

Following the India-EU Summit on May 8, the two sides had decided to carry out a comprehensive review of their strategic partnership in line with a roadmap that will guide relations till 2025. This was the third strategic partnership review.
India and the European Union (EU) discussed ways to jointly tackle the Covid-19 pandemic and the resumption of negotiations for a free trade agreement during a meeting on Tuesday. (AFP PHOTO.)
India and the European Union (EU) discussed ways to jointly tackle the Covid-19 pandemic and the resumption of negotiations for a free trade agreement during a meeting on Tuesday. (AFP PHOTO.)
Published on Oct 19, 2021 09:59 PM IST
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India and the European Union (EU) discussed ways to jointly tackle the Covid-19 pandemic and the resumption of negotiations for a free trade agreement during a review of their strategic partnership on Tuesday.

At a meeting in Brussels, senior officials from the two sides also discussed cooperation to address challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, and to contribute to the success of the upcoming Climate COP26 in the UK next month.

Following the India-EU Summit on May 8, the two sides had decided to carry out a comprehensive review of their strategic partnership in line with a roadmap that will guide relations till 2025. This was the third strategic partnership review.

“Both sides exchanged views concerning best ways to join forces in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects on economies, societies as well as individuals,” said a joint statement issued after the meeting.

India and the EU also discussed next steps to operationalise the decision by leaders of the two sides to resume negotiations for a balanced, ambitious, comprehensive and mutually beneficial trade agreement, and to launch talks on a stand-alone investment protection agreement and a separate agreement on geographical indications, the statement said.

Negotiations on a trade agreement had stalled in 2013 because of differences on issues such as market access for European products and mobility for Indian professionals. India and the EU decided to separate the negotiations on an investment protection agreement as the two sides have fewer differences in this area.

The meeting in Brussels also discussed next steps for implementing the India-EU connectivity partnership that was agreed at the summit in May. The two sides further discussed ways to cooperate in research, technology and digital transformation, and the continued implementation of the Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility.

“Recalling the successful 9th India-EU Human Rights Dialogue in April 2021, the EU and India looked forward to the next edition of the Dialogue in 2022,” the statement said.

The meeting was co-chaired by Reenat Sandhu, secretary (West) in the external affairs ministry, and Helena König, deputy secretary general for economic and global issues in the European External Action Service.

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Sunday, December 05, 2021