EU-India leaders’ meeting via video conference, 8 May 2021

Publication Date 08/05/2021
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The leaders of the European Union (EU) and India held a meeting via videoconference on 8 May 2021.

Further information:

The meeting aimed at reinforcing the EU-India Strategic Partnership. Leaders from both sides agreed to resume negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and to start talks on two additional trade agreements - Investment Protection Agreement (IPA) and Agreement on Geographical Indicators (GIs). They also launched a new Connectivity Partnership.

EU leaders expressed their solidarity with India in light of the latest waves of COVID-19 infections affecting the country. Support for the COVAX Facility was also expressed, in an effort to develop a global response to the pandemic and widespread access of means to tackle it. Both sides committed to advancing global health security, including the strengthening of the World Health Organisation (WHO). The EU invited India to work towards an international treaty on pandemics.

India and the EU also agreed to deepen bilateral cooperation on the reform of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). They held discussions on climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. They stressed the importance of achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. They looked forward to a new work programme for the EU-India Clean Energy and Climate Partnership and to launching the working of the Joint Task Force on Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to all human rights. The leaders welcomed the latest strengthening of EU-India cooperation on international security, and highlighted their commitment to the reform of the UN Security Council. Leaders also welcomed the adoption of Council conclusions on the EU's Strategy for cooperation with the Indo-Pacific.

A comprehensive joint statement was adopted at the end of the meeting.

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Human Rights Watch: News, 03/05/2021: EU: Prioritize Rights at India Summit
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EurActiv, 07/05/2021: India: Europe’s (un)democratic partner
Politico: Opinion, 07/05/2021: Trade and beyond: a new impetus to the EU-India Partnership (By António Costa and Narendra Modi)
ECFR: Podcasts, 07/05/2021: The prospects for EU-India relations ahead of the Leaders Summit
International Commission of Jurists: News, 07/05/2021: European Union and India: Leaders should use meeting to demonstrate commitment to defending rights and combating Covid-19 pandemic

EUObserver, 05/05/2021: EU turns from China to India on free trade
RFI News, 06/05/2021: European Union, India to resume long-suspended trade talks
Reuters, 08/05/2021: EU and India agree to resume trade talks at virtual summit
Bloomberg, 08/05/2021: EU and India Eye Trade Reboot to Confront Threats from China
Associated Press, 08/05/2021: EU, India try again to clinch trade deal, sidelining China
VOA News, 08/05/2021: EU to Resume India Trade Talks After Portugal Summit

European Council: Joint Statement - EU-India Leaders’ Meeting, 8 May 2021
European Council: EU-India Connectivity Partnership, 8 May 2021
European Council: Remarks by President Charles Michel after the informal meeting of the members of the European Council and the EU-India Leaders' meeting in Porto (8 May 2021)
European Commission: Press Release, 08/05/2021: Principles, Partnership, Prosperity: EU and India launch collaboration on sustainable connectivity
European Commission: Statement by President von der Leyen at the joint press conference with President Michel and Prime Minister Costa following the informal meeting of EU Leaders and the EU-India leaders' meeting (8 May 2021)
European Commission: News, 08/05/2021: "The EU stands with India in times of need": op-ed article by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

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