Ursula von der Leyen and Modi discuss improved EU-India cooperation: "We have so much in common"

Ursula von der Leyen Narendra Modi EU India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen held talks in New Delhi on Monday, with a focus on improving India-EU strategic partnership and to deepen cooperation in trade, climate, digital technology and people-to-people ties.

Earlier, External Affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar called on Leyen. Both of them discussed taking forward India-EU partnership. They exchanged views on the economic and political implications of the Ukraine conflict.

Leyen said strengthening the partnership is a key priority for this decade.

She also highlighted that India-EU will step up cooperation in trade, technology and security. Ms Leyen informed that India and EU to launch the EU-India Trade and Technology Council.

The Trade and Technology council will provide the political steer and the necessary structure to operationalise political decisions, coordinate technical work and report to the political level to ensure implementation and follow-up in areas that are important for the sustainable progress of European and Indian economies.

For her part, Leyen said:

"I am very happy visit India and to see you again, Prime Minister. It is the 60th anniversary of relations between the EU and India. Today, our relationship is more important than ever. We have so much in common. We are vibrant democracies, we both support wholeheartedly the rules-based international order and we have both large economies, and we are both facing a challenging global landscape. For the European Union, the partnership with India is one of our most important relationships for the coming decade and strengthening this partnership is a priority.

"And here, I am thinking of three main topics – trade, technology and security. That is why I am pleased that today Prime Minister Modi and I have agreed to establish an EU-India Trade and Technology Council. The EU has only one TTC so far – with the US, and I think it is telling that we now establish the second one with India. Also because India is technologically a powerhouse, and in the trade sector we need to unleash an enormous amount of untapped potential.

"I am also glad that we are starting negotiations towards comprehensive trade and investment agreements. And yesterday, on another important topic that we share – climate change – I spent an exciting day at the International Solar Alliance. Energy security is one of the most pressing topics for India as well as Europe. The EU will diversify away from fossil fuels and will invest heavily in clean renewable energy. Therefore, cooperation with India not only on solar but also on green hydrogen is critical."

For his part, Modi said on Twitter: Delighted to hold talks with President of EU Commission Von Der Leyen earlier today. We reviewed the full range of India-EU ties including economic and cultural linkages."


Earlier, von der Leyen met External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar and discussed ways to take the India-EU partnership forward and exchanged views on the impact of the Ukraine conflict.

"Pleased to call on President of European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. Discussed taking forward the India-EU partnership. Also exchanged views on the economic and political implications of the Ukraine conflict," Jaishankar tweeted.

EU chief met Jaishankar shortly after she visited Rajghat today to pay respect to Mahatma Gandhi. "Remembering the Mahatma's universal message of truth and non-violence. President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen paid respects to Bapu at Rajghat today morning," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) tweeted.

European Commission President, who is on a two-day visit, is also slated to meet President Ram Nath Kovind and hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "Action-packed Day 2 of @EU_Commission President @vonderleyen in India. On the agenda today: Visit to Rajghat, Bilateral Meeting with Hon'ble PM @narendramodi, President @rashtrapatibhvn and @DrSJaishankar. Inaugurate Raisina2022," EU mission in India tweeted.

The fight against climate change and biodiversity loss, the energy and digital transition, connectivity, security and defence, cooperation in the Indo-Pacific will be at the centre of her conversations in Delhi. EU-India's broad economic agenda, with a focus on the free trade agreement, investment protection agreement and Geographical Indications agreement will also be on the agenda.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict will also feature in discussions.

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