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Joint Declaration: First Summit

The first Summit between the EU and India was held in Lisbon, Portugal on 28th June 2000.

india Updated: Oct 09, 2006 18:46 IST
PTI

The first Summit between the EU and India was held in Lisbon, Portugal on 28th June 2000.

The EU was represented by the Prime Minister of Portugal Antonio Guterres in his capacity as President of the European Council assisted by the Secretary General/High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, and the President of the European Commission Romano Prodi.

India was represented by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The Portuguese Ministers Jaime Gama (Foreign Affairs) and José Mariano Gago (Science and Technology) and Vitor Ramalho (deputy Minister for Economy), the European Commissioners Christopher Patten (External Relations), Pascal Lamy (Trade) and Philippe Busquin (Research), as well as the Indian Ministers Jaswant Singh (External Affairs), Yashwant Sinha (Finance), Murasoli Maran (Commerce and Industry) and Pramod Mahajan (Information and Technology) also participated in the Summit.

The Summit agreed on the following Declaration:

On this historic occasion, we resolve that in the 21st century the EU and India shall build a new strategic partnership founded on shared values and aspirations characterised by enhanced and multi-faceted co-operation.

We, based on the shared universal values of democracy and the respect for human rights, rule of law and fundamental freedoms, stress our commitment to promote socio-economic development and prosperity, as well as international peace, stability and security. We also derive strength from our traditions of diversity, plurality and tolerance.

We are convinced that the process of economic reform and liberalisation in India leading to enhanced and sustained growth on the one hand, and gradual integration and enlargement of the EU on the other, provide us with an excellent opportunity to launch a new phase of constructive and mutually beneficial partnership.

We reaffirm our commitment to the strengthening and deepening of our consultations and enhancing our co-ordination on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of common concern.

EU-India partnership in the 21st century

We believe that the EU and India must rise to the occasion to work together towards a world in which the aspirations of our people can be fulfilled.

To this end, we re-affirm our commitment to democracy, the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms as well as the promotion of peace, stability and security, and the encouragement of socio-economic development and prosperity.

Based on our common shared values we recognise the need to build a coalition of interests in order to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

The EU and India are important partners in the shaping of the emerging multipolar world.

It is in this context that we resolve to enhance our political dialogue, to promote mutual understanding and to improve co-ordination on political and economic issues of bilateral, regional and multilateral dimensions.

In recognition of our enhanced relations of a new strategic partnership in the new century, we will hold further regular EU-India Summit meetings in alternating capitals or elsewhere.

The EU welcomes India's invitation to hold the next Summit, in 2001, in India. We shall continue to fully exploit the potential of the existing annual dialogue at the level of Foreign Ministers.

In between these meetings, Senior Officials from both sides will meet to ensure follow up. We will look into possibilities to complement this dialogue with consultations at expert level on foreign policy issues.

The EU and India recognise the need to work together more closely to promote peace, stability and security in their respective regions and beyond through bilateral dialogue and confidence building measures among the countries concerned.

They reaffirm their strong commitment to the settlement of disputes by peaceful means, in accordance with international law, bilateral agreements and the principles of the United Nations Charter.

In this context, both sides agree to pursue regular contacts, within the framework of the political dialogue, to address security issues of common concern.

We emphasise the importance of co-ordinating efforts to promote and protect human rights.

In this respect, we reaffirm the need to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms, taking into account their universal, interdependent and indivisible character, as confirmed by our commitment to the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

We will also work towards the universal ratification and implementation of all major international human rights instruments.

We shall continue to fully implement our obligations which we have undertaken under the UN instruments and agreements.

We share the conviction that terrorism remains a major threat to regional and international peace and security, and constitutes a serious violation of the rights of innocent individuals and of the integrity of states.

We re-affirm our unreserved condemnation of terrorism in all its forms, wherever it occurs and whatever its motives and origin.

We will strengthen our co-operation in preventing and combating terrorism, guided by the principles of international law and relevant UN Conventions. We will bolster joint efforts to counter terrorism and meet all other challenges arising from it both in the regional and international context.

We agree therefore to strive for a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.

We note with deep concern the increase in drug trafficking as a global problem which constitutes a major threat to health and reinforces international crime and terrorism.

We agree on the need to strengthen co-operation to combat drug trafficking and drug abuse.

We are convinced that co-operation in multilateral fora should be one of the priorities in the future development of our relationship.

We re-affirm our commitment to co-operating closely in identifying and furthering common interests in international organisations, particularly in the framework of the United Nations, and in the ASEAN Regional Forum.

We also re-affirm our commitment to the United Nations and agree to work together for making it a more effective instrument of international co-operation. We shall work to strengthen the international security system, namely the UN and support it in its peace-keeping efforts.

We are resolved to be partners in promoting global peace and security. We continue to work together to eradicate chemical and biological weapons.

We re-iterate our unequivocal commitment to the ultimate goal of a complete elimination of nuclear weapons under strict and effective international control. The EU welcomes India's current voluntary moratorium on nuclear explosive testing and its willingness to move towards a de jure formalisation of this basic obligation of the CTBT.

India is engaged in discussions on a range of issues including CTBT. India remains ready to bring these discussions to a successful conclusion based on the creation of a positive environment as it works towards building the widest possible consensus domestically.

We will work together to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and their means of delivery.

We stress our readiness to work with others for an early commencement of negotiations for a treaty ending the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons and reaffirm our commitment to stringent and effective export controls, including the spreading of dangerous materials and technologies.

We agree that socio-economic development and prosperity flourish on the basis of regional and global stability, for which a peaceful and secure environment are essential preconditions.

Regional co-operation based on existing instruments should create the necessary trust to work towards resolving tensions.

We recognise the importance of further enhancing mutual understanding and dialogue between our respective civil societies. To this end, we have agreed to initiate an India-EU Round Table of eminent non official personalities and a Network of EU and Indian think tanks.

These are important steps towards creating the ground for better people-to-people contacts and understanding, which are essential elements of a dynamic and durable partnership.

We recognise the importance of the 1993 Co-operation Agreement for Partnership and Development, and the work carried out by the EU-India Joint Commission, its Sub-Commissions and working groups.

We shall continue to strengthen the High Level Economic and Commercial Dialogue on bilateral and multilateral trade, economic and financial issues of common concern as well as to promote business links.

We share the belief that democracy is the basis for equitable and sustained economic growth and development.

The EU acknowledges and supports India's commitment to economic reforms and liberalisation aimed at ensuring high and sustainable growth rates, and integrating its economy into the global economy.

A strong Indian economy will not only generate greater prosperity at home, but also benefit the global economy. Globalisation presents challenges and opens up opportunities that, if properly harnessed, can bring the world closer together and benefit developed and developing countries alike.

We also recognise that globalisation should take into account the development aspirations of developing countries while bringing the world closer together. In such an environment, we are convinced that there is tremendous potential for greater economic co-operation.

We recognise the significant growth achieved in India in respect of information technology.

We also recognise the mutual benefit of a substantial increase in flows of investment, technology, expertise and service providers between the EU and India in the new knowledge-based economy, particularly in the areas of information technology, telecommunications and biotechnology.

We agree to work closely with each other in these sectors which have a vast potential to improve the standards of living and quality of life for our citizens.

We look forward to intensifying our discussions with a view to rapidly concluding an Agreement on Co-operation in Science & Technology.

This will provide the framework for joint research and technological development, not only in the frontiers of science but also in addressing the challenges of disease, hunger and poverty and in bringing together entrepreneurs, investors, scientists and the traditional holders of knowledge to share the benefits of research and development.

We stress the importance to further expand academic contacts between the EU and India and agree to also look into possibilities of promoting co-operation in the field of culture and education.

We are consistent in our belief that a key objective of development co-operation is to enhance and to promote human development, in particular by raising standards of literacy and health, thereby contributing to progressive improvement in the quality of life and alleviating human suffering.

These are critical inputs for sustainable development. We will continue to work towards intensifying our co-operation in key areas including elementary education, health services and environment.

We are deeply concerned about growing environmental degradation. We share a commitment to enhance multilateral co-operation in addressing the twin challenges of protecting the environment and promoting sustainable development.

We shall address global environmental issues of mutual concern, including climate change in accordance with the principle of common and differentiated responsibility.

We shall institute a joint working group on environment to promote common initiatives in the environmental field to explore the potential for joint collaborative projects, facilitate transfer of technologies, develop opportunities for investments in the public and private sectors, launch an environmental awareness programme and facilitate co-ordination on multilateral environmental issues.

We recognise that the rapid development of infrastructure, including telecommunications, energy, transport, roads, airports and ports is important for the economic growth of India.

We share the commitment to further enhance economic co-operation in all these sectors. We are pleased to note that we are signing a Financing Agreement for a joint civil aviation project, which will further increase co-operation in this important area.

The EU is India's largest trading partner. However, we share the view that the current volume of bilateral trade and investment between the EU and India falls far short of its potential. We are conscious of the fact that there is need for much greater collaboration between the EU and India in strengthening industry and business links.

We are, therefore, determined to working jointly to promote and increase the flows of goods and services between the EU and India. In this context, the EU supports the economic reforms being undertaken by India, which contribute to creating a climate more favourable to trade and investment and welcomes India's determination to further pursue these efforts. We also share the view that foreign direct investment plays an important role for the development of our economies.

In this sense, we agree on the importance of addressing all obstacles with a view to stimulating EU investment in India.

We share the view that it is important to progressively liberalise trade and to oppose protectionist trends in our march towards economic growth and development.

We share the commitment towards an open, equitable and non-discriminatory rule-based multilateral trading system and we shall work together to strengthen it.

We stressed the importance of maintaining the momentum towards further trade liberalisation and strengthening of the WTO, based on an agenda that adequately reflects the interest of all members of the multilateral trading system.

While we recognise that there is as yet no consensus on the scope of future WTO negotiations, we agree that the objective of any such negotiations should be to enhance market access, develop and strengthen WTO rules and disciplines, support the economic growth, development needs, and integration into the trading system of developing countries, and contribute to the goal of sustainable development.

In this context, particular importance should be given to improving market access for developing countries. India and the EU underlined that careful preparation will be required in order to achieve this objective.

We also noted the importance of the commitment by all members to constructive negotiations under the built-in agenda, which includes agriculture and services, and agreed on the importance of finding solutions as quickly as possible to the implementation concerns of developing countries.

We agree that our bilateral co-operation on WTO matters should be put on a more solid and structured basis.

We therefore instruct our senior officials to meet, at least twice a year, in a regular high level dialogue covering all WTO matters, with a view in particular to identifying common approaches that India and the EU could take on these matters.

In this way India and the EU can strengthen their traditional co-operation within the WTO.