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Relationship with India gained tremendous importance for EU: Envoy Herve Delphin

European Union envoy Herve Delphin (Photo: ANI)

Lauding the mutual ties, European Union envoy Herve Delphin said India is the country that has “gained tremendous importance for the EU,” and the partnership will “deepen further.”

Speaking at an event on Europe Day celebration here on Thursday, the Ambassador of the European Union to India, Delphin, said, “In this turbulent environment, there is one country, and one relationship that has gained tremendous importance for the EU, and it is India.”

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar was the chief guest at the event held to mark Europe Day, held on May 9 every year to celebrate peace and unity in Europe.

He said that in Europe, they have come to “realise the strategic relevance and importance of building a strong relation with India.”

“In Europe, we have come to realise the strategic relevance and importance of building a strong relationship with India, for ourselves, for both of us, and also for the rest of the world. Our partnership has grown stronger, and we are confident that this partnership will deepen and further widen,” the envoy said.

He noted that the partnership between India and the EU is not a matter of government alone, as he highlighted the role of the business community in enhancing the ties.

He said that the “Federation of European Businesses in India (FEBI), will be a driving force for India-EU relations.”

Further highlighting that the EU-India partnership is also about people, Delphin said, “Through their personal lives, I have woven the common fabric that unites Europe and India…the mobility of businesses, workers, students, researchers and tourists will make our partnership stronger.”

Delphin said, “The European Union, at its core, is a peace project; a political experiment quite unique in the world,” as he greeted the guests at the event.

“In today’s global reality of tensions and transitions from the return of war and international challenges, Europe, more than ever, has to bring its own contribution to the world to preserve peace. We stand by our common civilisation…of rules, principles and values embodied in the UN Charter–an international law. With belief in the betterment of mankind through the empowerment of people, sustainable development and the preservation of human rights, and we believe in the strength of democracy,” he said.

“We will defend ourselves whenever our interests are under threat,” the envoy said, adding that the EU “will support Ukraine to restore its territorial integrity and sovereignty against Russian aggression.” and will “spare no effort to restore peace in the Middle East…”

In March this year, India and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) signed a Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) with four European states- Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

EFTA has committed to promote investments to increase the stock of foreign direct investments by USD 100 billion in India in the next 15 years and to facilitate the generation of 1 million direct employment in India.

Earlier in February, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, discussed the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and the European Union at the Special Plenary Session of the second CII India Europe Business and Sustainability Conclave.

Goyal emphasized the principles of fairness, equity, and balance in FTA negotiations, asserting India’s trajectory towards achieving a USD 35 trillion economy by 2047.

“We believe that Free Trade Agreements or bilateral agreements have to be fair, equitable and balanced. Countries across the globe need to recognise that India as a rapidly growing country, is poised to become a USD 35 trillion economy by 2047, ” Goyal had stated.