Political News

14th India-EU summit

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The 14th annual summit between India and the European Union (EU) was held in New Delhi on 6 October 2017. The Republic of India was represented by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The EU was represented by Mr. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Mr. Jean Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission.

The EU and India are not only big trading partners, they also cooperate in a broad range of areas, including foreign policy, security and human rights, climate change, migration, and the fight against terrorism. The meeting focused particularly on three salient subjects: terrorism, climate change, and urbanization.

India-EU Joint Statement on Cooperation in combating Terrorism(declaration 1)

EU and India leaders strongly condemned the recent terrorist attacks across the world. Neither India nor Europe were spared in the last few years, with attacks in Pathankot, Uri, Nagrota, Anantnag (Amarnath Yatra), Srinagar, Paris, Brussels, Nice, London, Stockholm, Manchester, Barcelona, Turku, among others. They reaffirmed their determination to work together to prevent the rapid increase of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems and to deny access to such weapons by terrorists and non-state actors. ]

Highlighted was the need to drive forward international efforts in multilateral forums like the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum and the Financial Action Task Force to cut the flows of funds and other financial assets and economic resources to individuals and entities involved in terrorism, including those proscribed under the relevant United Nations' Sanctions. It was also agreed to strengthen cooperation to take decisive and united actions against terrorists and terror entities, including Hafeez Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Dawood Ibrahim, Lashkar-e-Tayibba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Haqqani Network, Al Qaeda, ISIS (Da’esh) and their affiliates. Considering the urgent need to establish a comprehensive international legal framework to address the growing global menace of terrorism, the leaders called for an early conclusion of negotiations and the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the United Nations, as an instrument for a global alliance of nations against terrorism which would reinforce the message that no cause or grievance justifies terrorism.

 

India-EU Joint Statement on Clean Energy And Climate Change (declaration 2)

The EU and India consider climate action and the clean energy transition as a very crucial part for the future development of our societies, as climate change is increasing stress on people, ecosystems and infrastructure. Both entities are committed to lead and work together with all stakeholders to mitigate climate change, implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and encourage global low greenhouse gas emissions, as well as climate resilient and sustainable development. To do so, they are resolved to promote transition to clean energy, with sustainable, affordable and modern energy services.

The EU and India welcome the progress on the Clean Energy and Climate Partnership and reiterate their commitment to its implementation, in accordance with the work programme agreed upon in October 2016.

The cooperation on clean energy and climate change include the implementation of climate action commitments, green cooling and sustainable refrigeration technologies, grid integrated solar pumping, off-shore wind, energy storage technologies, next generation solar cells, electric mobility, and advanced bio-fuels.

India-EU Joint Statement on the Partnership for Smart And Sustainable Urbanisation (declaration 3)

The ambition of both India and the EU, as laid down in the Joint Statement adopted at the 13th EU-India Summit on 30 March 2016, and the EU-India Agenda for Action 2020, is to "enhance EU-India cooperation on Urban Development with increasing involvement of Indian States and cities, EU Member States and regions/cities, building on regular dialogue on issues such as infrastructure, energy, sanitation and water management, to promote dialogue and partnership/twinning between local, regional and state entities".

This highlights the importance of the United Nations Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including a roadmap to implement sustainable development across the world i.e. aiming at paving the way towards making cities and human settlements more inclusive and ensuring that everyone can benefit from urbanization.

The Smart Cities Initiative, the Clean India Mission (Swaach Bharat) and the 'AMRUT'(Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) programme launched by the Government of India aimed to remedy challenges by developing public transport, sewerage, water supply and sanitation, housing and public green spaces.

Outlook

The leaders of both the EU and India expressed their shared commitment to strengthening the economic partnership between India and the EU.  

India-EU negotiations BTIA started in 2007 and 16 rounds talks had been held till 2013, after which EU withdrew from the negotiations. Recently four stock-taking meetings on India-EU BTIA have been held. India has expressed its willingness to resume negotiations in the meetings. 

They noted the ongoing efforts of both sides to re-engage towards relaunching negotiations for an India-EU broad based trade and investment agreement (BTIA).

Election insight - Straight road ahead for technology projects under Modi

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A landslide win in Uttar Pradesh could give the national government of India, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, fresh energy to implement the initiatives it launched in the past three years for industry, technology and the 21st century economy.

The legislative elections in Uttar Pradesh, whose results were made public on 11th March 2017, showed sweeping support for the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Modi government. Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in India, accounts for 16% of the country’s population, with over 200 million inhabitants. The BJP won with a phenomenal majority of more than 77% of the seats in the state assemblies, up from only 11.6% at the last elections in 2012. Counting its allies, that gives the party a governing majority of more than 80%.

These results will contribute to the stability of the Indian political landscape, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party stronger than ever and in position to push through key reform measures and initiatives. The election outcome, which came in the backdrop of demonetization, was proof that Modi had not lost the support of his base. The expected stability should also trigger a new wave of investments by the domestic industry, fueling growth in the next years.

The prime minister, in his address at 104th Indian Science Congress in January 2017, had reaffirmed his objective to have India among the top three countries in the world in science and technology by 2030. This goes hand in glove with his major projects since coming to power in 2014. Indeed, Modi has launched many important initiatives in domains India has identified as key to its future, among those energy, environment, industry, technology, and digital economy.

  • Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, or the Clean India Movement was launched in October 2014 as a campaign to clean the streets and infrastructures of India. It is India's largest ever initiative in this area. Its objective is to reduce or eliminate open defecation through construction of individual, cluster and community toilets, and to be able to monitor latrine use.
  • Clean Ganges: Narendra Modi has given strong support to the rejuvenation of the Ganges river, putting the National Ganga Council under his direct chairmanship and pushing forward initiatives to improve the quality and environment of what is today one of the heaviest polluted rivers in the world.
  • Smart Cities: India’s Smart Cities Mission, which was launched in 2015, aims to foster sustainable and citizen-friendly urban development in the country, through a spearhead of more than 100 cities, ports, Greenfield projects and private smart cities.

Other national strategies which will benefit from a strong Modi government include his flagship initiative, Make in India, which was launched by Prime Minister in 2014 with the goal to transform India into a global design and manufacturing hub; Skill India, which aims to improve technical training on a large scale to provide the cutting-edge industries fostered by Make in India with the manpower they need; and Digital India, whose official objective is to “transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy” through digital infrastructures, e-services and citizens’ education.

These initiatives offer many opportunities for Europe-India technology collaborations, sparking interest across borders, and the boost to Modi’s government will provide European companies an enabling environment in which to invest, find partners, and provide solutions to implement India’s strategies. EBTC has been developing its activities in those same areas for a number of years. Taking advantage of the auspicious climate, we are launching several new projects and initiatives over the next months.

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