●India-EU Virtual Summit 2020
•Recently, India and the European Union (EU) held their 15th “annual” summit after a gap of more than two years
•A roadmap to 2025 has been endorsed between India and EU as a common roadmap to guide joint action and further strengthen the Strategic Partnership over the next five years.
•Both 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.
•India and EU had launched talks for having a wide-ranging Free Trade Agreement (FTA), officially called broad-based Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA), long ago in 2007
•The EU is India’s largest trading partner grouping (countrywise China is India’s largest trading partner), while India is the EU ‘s ninth biggest trading partner
•The EU officials described the recent India-China border standoff on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as a matter of considerable concern.
•India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Europol launched negotiations to combat organised crime and terrorism
•Civil nuclear cooperation agreement was signed between the European Atomic Energy Community or Euratom and Department of Atomic Energy, India.
•The agreement will focus on research and development cooperation for peaceful uses of nuclear energy and on new ways of using nuclear energy.
•The two sides also agreed to scale up defence and security ties which included:
The launch of a new maritime security dialogue.
•Consultations on crisis management and deeper cooperation between the Indian Navy and the European Union Naval Force Atalanta.
•The EU’s counter-piracy military operation in the western Indian Ocean.
•joint declaration on circular economy and resource efficiency.
•A circular economy is an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources.
•The renewal of a science and technology cooperation agreement and stepping up cooperation in environment and climate change.
•The EU is critical about India’s “protectionist” measures on tariffs, on opening up India’s services sector for European Companies and the termination of bilateral investment treaties with 25 EU member states.
•The EU also views India’s recent Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan as an initiative which might lead to protectionism.
•The trade relationship is also far below the potential, with India accounting for less than 3% of EU’s total trade.
•The EU has been critical over the removal of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir as well as the Citizenship Amendment Act, which according to India is an internal matter.