India wants EU to play a larger role in global security, condemn Pakistan for terror havens

Nayanima Basu Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on January 08, 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

European Council President Donald Tusk

PM to meet top officials at Friday’s India-EU Summit

With the US’ role gradually diminishing in global geopolitics, India is planning to urge the European Union (EU) to come onto the centrestage and become a global security provider even as it wants the 28-member union to disapprove Pakistan’s role in cross-border terrorism.

Counter terrorism and security issues are going to be on the top of the agenda of Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he meets Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Jean Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, during 14th India-EU Summit to be held on Friday.

These issues will be discussed under the ‘EU-India Agenda for Action-2020’ that was agreed to be implemented during last year’s summit, held in Brussels that laid down a road-map for the India-EU Strategic Partnership.

On the occasion of India and the EU celebrating 55 years of diplomatic ties this year, Modi will urge the EU to take a stand against Pakistan and the terror safe havens operating there as a mark of deepening of ties, sources told BusinessLine.

Another issue that is going to feature dominantly during the discussions is the role of China. Post Doklam stand-off, India will be seeking greater cooperation from the EU in countering China’s increasingly aggressive stance, especially the Belt and Road Initiative that is directed at Europe and the South China Sea issue, sources said.

“The EU should become a security provider given the diminishing role of the US if it wants to be treated as European Union and not a just congregation of member states. India would definitely want the EU to join it on issues concerning cross-border terror, although it is unlikely that the EU will mention Pakistan,” said

FTA talks likely to resume

India and the EU will also seek to put in place a mechanism to re-start the long-stalled negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA), officially called the Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA), while simultaneously addressing the bloc’s concerns related to the lapsed bilateral investment treaties.

“The leaders are likely to push for an early resolution to the problem of the lapsed BITs of EU member countries with India. In fact, they may insist on continuation of the old pacts till the India-EU free trade pact is in place,” a government official said.

The Commerce and Industry Ministry had suggested that an early conclusion of the FTA could settle the problem of BITs as it also has a chapter on investments, but the EU was unconvinced.

The negotiations on BTIA, launched a decade back, is stuck due to disagreement between the two sides over issues such as lowering of import duties on automobiles and alcohol by India and recognition of India by the EU as a ‘data-secure’ country.

Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu, who will also be meeting the EU officials, will also try to bring the EU back on the negotiating table, the official said.

On the BITs, the EU member countries have been hesitating to re-negotiate the pacts based on India’s draft BIT model as they are uncomfortable with a number of provisions laid down there.

Published on October 04, 2017

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