India and Europe Post Elections - Partners in need or partners indeed?

25.09.2019, 10h - 12h roundtable discussion

Venue: Hotel Thon EU, Rue de la Loi 75


India's Prime Minister Modi is welcomed by European Council President Tusk and European Commission President Juncker at the start of a EU-India Summit in Brussels. Reuters/Yves Herman


The last two, three years have been a wake-up call both for the EU and India. Donald Trump’s “America First” doctrine has equally unsettled the partners across the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean in terms of being natural allies and strategic partners in international governance and the rule of law. At the same time, China’s massive outreach through its “Belt Road Initiative” and increased military presence in the Indian Ocean have led to a re-assessment of regional and global partnerships. Being mostly regional powers, both India and the EU are somewhat sandwiched between the US and China: in terms of trade, investment and technological know-how. Both, India and the EU share a joint commitment to democracy: both parties prefer cooperation and competition over conflict and containment. India and the EU alike believe in a balance of power and responsibility. At the same time, both regions are facing similar domestic challenges: the rise of nationalistic forces in politics, climate and technological changes with increasing pressure on livelihoods and employment, rapid urbanization and a certain social des-integration. Now more than ever are Europe and India deemed (or doomed?) to live up to their natural partnership. The strategic partnership in place since 2004 never turned into a genuine political alliance. After Indians and Europeans went to polls in April and May and a new EU strategy for India in place, will there be a revival of the India-EU partnership? What are the building blocks for a true alliance between the two blocks and beyond? And what are common solutions for the global challenges, both EU and India are facing?

Contact: Daniela.Iller(at)




Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung EU Office

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