New Delhi: The 16th India-EU leaders’ summit has been proposed to be held in Portugal in May 2021, a summit that comes even as Delhi and several European capitals increase cooperation and convergence.
During the summit, a key focus will be on the India-EU free trade agreement which both sides are keen on.
The 15th India-EU summit took place virtually amidst the Covid pandemic in July of this year. India was led by PM Narendra Modi, while was represented by President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
This year has seen engagements increase between India and the European block. Wednesday (December 23) saw a virtual meet between External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and Spanish FM Arancha Gonzalez Laya.
A ministry of external affairs readout said, “Both leaders undertook a detailed review of bilateral ties including the extensive cooperation between the two countries during Covid-19 pandemic and possibilities of cooperation in the post-Covid scenario.”
Late October saw, Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla going to France and Germany, along with the UK. The in-person visit to Paris and Berlin came amidst covid pandemic.
EU is emerging as an important support of India’s Indo Pacific vision. France, Germany, and The Netherlands have recently enunciated their official policies on the concept which China sees very suspiciously.
The EU is also a key investor in India with the European Investment Bank planning to invest €550 million in the Pune and Bhopal Metro Rail Projects.