On the occasion of the EU-India Leaders' Meeting in Porto and via video conference, on 8 May 2021, the EU and India have concluded a comprehensive Connectivity Partnership, confirming their commitment to collaborate on supporting resilient and sustainable connectivity both in India and in third countries and regions, including Africa, Central Asia and the Indo-Pacific.
President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “This partnership, concluded today between the EU and India in the presence of our 27 Member States, begins a new chapter in our relations. While the coronavirus still causes terrible devastation, we must also focus on building back better. This Connectivity Partnership will guide our actions over the coming years, providing for joint efforts in creating a greener, more inclusive and prosperous future for the EU, India, and in regions around the world.”
The EU-India Connectivity Partnership is the second such partnership, after the one signed with Japan in September 2019. These bilateral partnerships form an integral part of the EU's strategy to connect Europe and Asia, which was presented by the Commission and the High Representative in September 2018 and endorsed by the Council in October of that year.
The EU-India Connectivity Partnership covers cooperation in the digital, energy, transport, and people-to-people sectors. It is fundamentally rooted in support for the twin digital and green transitions, adherence to and development of international standards, as well as the shared norms and values of social, environmental, economic and fiscal sustainability and level playing field.
As ECOPNET (European Cooperation and Partnership Network), we underline that India’s memberships in the UN Security Council in 2021-2022 and its forthcoming G20 Presidency in 2023 are great opportunities to boost further cooperation at the international level, to defend and strengthen international law and support the necessary reforms of multilateral organisations.
The EU and India today represent a combined market of 1.8 billion people with a combined GDP of €16.5 trillion per year. By 2030, India will be the most populous country in the world with a median age of just 31. Studies point to growth of over 250% in India's core digital economy between 2019 and 2025.
The new Connectivity Partnership therefore aims at pooling resources, norms and expertise to serve the needs for the next generation of sustainable and quality infrastructure. It includes joint work on standards and the regulatory environment, as well as on concrete infrastructure projects.
The Partnership provides a platform to build on the many already ongoing projects between EU and Indian public and private actors, and also proposes new activities in all sectors. EU activities will use the Team Europe approach, bringing together the EU institutions, EU Member States, and the European Financial Institutions under a joint framework.
Source: European Commission Press Corner