FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
‘In spite of Brexit, EU remains a global power, the first global market, and the most relevant partner for India’
Posted:Apr 21, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
Federica Mogherini, high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy and vice-president of the European Commission, is in New Delhi today for talks with Union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and national security advisor Ajit Doval on a range of bilateral issues. She spoke exclusively to Indrani Bagchi on the future of EU after Brexit, India-EU relations and the way forward:
You were believed to be the reason for the India-EU summit to be put on hold in 2014. What’s your view of the relationship now?
Last year we had a very successful summit in Brussels. I have met regularly with Indian ministers, and I am looking forward to this visit – as the issues at stake are many and important. We cooperate intensively on security issues – from Afghanistan to the Horn of Africa – and on global matters such as sustainable development and climate change. During this visit we will also focus on trade and other bilateral dossiers, with one strong message: in spite of Britain’s decision to leave, EU remains a global power, the first global market, and the most relevant partner for India.
What will it take for the India-EU free trade agreement to go through?
A free trade agreement can be a win-win for EU and India. So we are working to conclude a comprehensive and ambitious agreement, to bridge our differences in areas such as market access for some goods and services, geographical indications and public procurement. We have proposed to hold a High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue so as to move forward and address sensitive issues of both sides.
Sweden is the latest victim of terror in EU. What is the thinking among EU leadership about how to tackle growing terror in Europe?
First of all, terrorism is a threat not just for Europe, but for the entire international community. Inside EU we have intensified cooperation among our police forces and intelligence services. But we need to understand the magnitude of the challenge and tackle the social and economic dimension of radicalisation and recruitment, both globally and within our communities. Global issues require common responses: Only together we can create the conditions to defeat Daesh and al Qaeda, block channels for terrorist financing, tackle foreign terrorist fighters.
In the Brexit era, what changes are you considering in EU’s foreign policy?
EU will lose one member state, but our British friends will lose much more: the power of acting together, as a Union of half a billion people, the second largest economy in the world. For instance, the UK provides less than 5% of assets and personnel in our military and civilian missions: an important yet not irreplaceable contribution. We will continue to be a global security provider, the biggest market on earth, the largest development donor. We will continue to be a global power and a reliable partner for our friends around the world, including India.
Let me add that even after these long negotiations, at the end of the coming two years, I am convinced our cooperation with the UK on foreign and security policy will continue to be strong. We share the same interests, and I am sure we will still work together as friends. Till then, however, the UK is a full EU member with all responsibilities, rights and obligations.
With the US downgrading its interest in climate change agreements, how does EU plan to hold up the achievements of Paris agreement?
We will stand by the Paris climate deal. The entry into force of the Paris Agreement less than a year after it was agreed shows that countries around the world take climate change seriously. We are passing all necessary legislation to implement the Paris Agreement, to address the economic and social implications of the transition to a low-carbon economy. And we expect all our partners – including the US – to also respect their commitments.
The US wants Europe to contribute more in NATO. How will EU respond?
This debate on defence spending is for NATO members to decide themselves. What EU can do is to make our spending more effective. At the moment, Europeans spend about 50% of what the US does on defence, but with only 15% of the output. We can only address this gap building new economies of scale, through joint programming and common procurement among EU member states. A stronger EU of defence makes NATO stronger. This is what we are working at.
 
Times of India, April 21, 2017
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image I am honored to be here today for the first U.S. government exchange alumni conference for India and Bhutan.
 
read-more
The European Union and India should work closely to bring peace, stability and development in Afghanistan, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has said.
 
read-more
On a self-imposed trial of three months, the Mehbooba Mufti government in Jammu and Kashmir has gone for what it believes to be a slam dunk.
 
read-more
spotlight image Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sprang a surprise when he registered himself as a candidate in Iran’s presidential election scheduled for May 19. After leaving the office of President in 2013 at the end of two controversial terms, the firebrand populist has been largely inactive in politics. 
 
read-more
That China strictly implements the UN Security Council resolutions that sanction North Korea is seen by all. If Pyongyang continues with its nuclear and missile tests, China is bound to support more harsh resolutions on this country.
 
read-more
India should be extremely wary of any Trump involvement on the Kashmir issue because he would do anything to bring India to the table, writes Dr. Susmit Kumar for South Asia Monitor.
 
read-more
A pre-dawn  suicide terror attack (fidayeen)  on an army camp in the Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday (April 27)   resulted in the death of three army personnel including an officer,  while two terrorists were neutralized. Combing operations are in progress to ascertain if any of the attackers have
 
read-more
The core parts of the controversial Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system have been moved to the site of what had been a golf course in southern South Korea.
 
read-more
Health of the citizens and the economy of the nation they inhabit go hand in hand and every buck spent on former guarantees a manifold increase in the latter,  said noted public health expert K Srikant Reddy. The lecture 'Health and Development: India Must Bridge the Disconnect' was ...
 
read-more
Column-image

Title: Bollywood Boom; Author: Roopa Swaminathan; Publisher: Penguin; Price: Rs 399; Pages: 221

 
Column-image

Title: Defeat is an Orphan: How Pakistan Lost the Great South Asian War; Author: Myra Macdonald; Publisher: Penguin Random House India; Pages: 328; Price: Rs 599

 
Column-image

  The story of Afghanistan -- of the war against the Soviets and of terrorism that has gripped the landlocked country ever since -- is in many ways also the story of diplomat Masood Khalili, who motivated his people and led them...

 
Column-image

Title: The Golden Legend; Author: Nadeem Aslam; Publisher: Penguin Random House; Pages: 376; Price: Rs 599

 
Column-image

Over the Years, a collection of 106 short articles, offers us interesting sidelights on the currents and cross- currents in the public life of India during two distinctive periods: (I) 1987 to 1991 and (II ) 2010 to the present.

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive