Modi, EU leaders to discuss multilateralism, strategic partnerships at India-EU Summit

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 09, 2020 Published on July 09, 2020

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The summit will be held virtually on July 15

India and the EU will focus on strengthening their strategic partnership, promotion of a rule-based multilateral system and global cooperation to fight the Covid-19 pandemic at the 15th India-EU Summit on July 15.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will represent India while the EU will be represented by European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at the summit to be held via video conference, according to an official release circulated by the European Council on Thursday.

“As the world is fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, the leaders will discuss global cooperation and solidarity to protect lives, to mitigate the socio-economic consequences and to strengthen preparedness and response capacities,” the release said.

The India-EU Summit, earlier scheduled for March 13 in Brussels, had to be postponed because of the pandemicWith the virus still spreading across the world, the two sides decided on a virtual conference.

The proposed India-EU broad-based trade and investment agreement (BTIA), hanging fire for several years due to disagreement over key issues of market access, may be discussed by the leaders and ways to get back to the negotiating table could be examined, according to officials familiar with the matter.

The leaders are also likely to discuss the present state of the World Trade Organization, which is grappling with a non-functional Appellate Body and growing protectionism among countries.

“Leaders are expected to reiterate their determination to promote effective multilateralism and a rules-based multilateral order, with the United Nations (UN) and the WTO at its core,” the release said.

The summit will be an opportunity to strengthen the EU-India Strategic Partnership, based on shared principles and values of democracy, freedom, rule of law, and respect for human rights, aiming at delivering concrete benefits for the people in the EU and India, the statement added. Leaders will discuss cooperation in security, climate, environment, trade and investment, digital economy and connectivity.

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Published on July 09, 2020
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