The European Union and India agreed to resume the stalled free trade negotiations and seek closer cooperation to combat the covid 19 crisis. At the virtual summit in a major development India and the EU have decided to resume negotiations for a FTA after eight years of a stalemate. The two are going to launch talks for a standalone investment protection pact. The EU commission president hailed the meeting as a historic win for both sides. It was a remarkable summit as it widened the scope and the view on the untapped potential in the relationship of the European Union and India.
Until recently, all activities and meetings were put to a stall since 2013. It has been agreed upon that they’ll resume the negotiations on a free trade agreement. Negotiations will be launched on investment production protection and topics of geographical indications. Such decisions were taken during a virtual summit between the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and the heads of all 27 member states of the block.
EU president Ursula von der Leyen has also expressed her solidarity and support for India to counter a devastating second wave of infections. The EU Commission president further said that it is important for members to continue the discussion. She added that the union should have a closer look at the role of licensing. At the same time not lose sight of the main urgency which is currently ramping up the production of vaccines. Topics such as the role of licensing must be discussed but it must be kept in mind that these matters will be a concern for the long term. Therefore, the EU and India should not lose sight of the main urgencies.
Recently, the U.S extended support by giving a waiver on vaccine intellectual property rights. It has started a conversation in European Union and became one of the key topics during the meeting. it was time for the EU to extend solidarity with India. The EU is already sending assistance to India as the nation battles the virus. The second wave of the covid pandemic has wreaked havoc in India. However, Europe is helping out as it was in a similar situation last year and had help from India in fighting the war against the virus.
The EU shows a clear preference for India over China in matters of trade. They wish to strengthen ties with India and for this reason, the meeting with prime minister Modi was so important. Topics such as economic cooperation and trade investments were discussed. Other important matters like security and regional concerns were also discussed. They follow the same multilateral approach as is required to strengthen international cooperation.
In unity lies strength and the challenges can be tackled if nations decide to work together and hope for a better future where it’s possible to develop the ties. The key outcome of the summit was focused on jointly tackling the covid crisis on vaccines along with the resumption of the convention on the free trade agreement. When the FTA is formally signed it would be a major win-win situation for both European Union and India.