India and the EU represent two of the world’s largest economies and thus are important players in global economic and trade governance. Currently, the global system reveals an emerging network of regional actors, which seek to navigate the systemic rivalry between the US and China. Following COVID-19, they have a common goal—to play a balancing act between Washington and Beijing without being forced to make the difficult choice of taking sides.
Against this background, the EU and India could unlock the potential of their strategic partnership to bring about a more sustainable, rules-based world order by deepening their relations in several key areas. Sectors such as the greening of the economy, renewable energy, artificial intelligence, and digitalisation tools can expect strategic investments to promote the growth of new, regional power centres that can broaden the EU-India cooperation. Furthermore, the reconfiguration of the global supply chains could create new synergies in terms of business and connectivity between Europe and India. Concluding a Free Trade Agreement will strengthen their global positioning in the current multilateral architecture, with a special focus on common responses to global and regional challenges. The EU and India could adopt a coordinated approach in their external actions to further deepen their partnership on various shared sustainable development goals, such as global energy decarbonisation, a modern resource-efficient economy with smart urbanisation, and a sustainable environment based on clean energy. Moreover, Brussels and New Delhi are natural partners in maritime security and should enhance their cooperation in foreign and security matters considering the Indo-Pacific region.
Deepening the political and socio-economic dimension of the India-EU relationship through an intensified dialogue on all levels will generate mutual interest and trust to establish a far-reaching strategic partnership that is indispensable for the maintenance of the rules-based global order.