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India and European Union Pledge to Deepen Cooperation in Indo-Pacific Region

2 weeks ago
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Photo Source: EU Trade/European Union

India and the European Union have reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing collaboration in the Indo-Pacific region, emphasizing the need to tackle shared security concerns and foster peace and stability. 

The resolve to expand cooperation was echoed during a security and defence dialogue held in Delhi on Monday. During the dialogue, representatives from both sides explored ways to boost cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, focusing on security and defence initiatives. 

 

Vishvesh Negi, Joint Secretary (International Cooperation) in India’s defence ministry, and Joanneke Balfoort, Director of Security and Defence Policy at the European External Action Service, co-chaired the meeting, underscoring the importance both sides place on strengthening ties in the Indo-Pacific. 

 

Commitment to a Rules-Based Order

A readout by the EU delegation in India highlighted the reaffirmation of the commitment to a free, open, inclusive, and rules-based maritime order in the Indo-Pacific. 

This commitment is grounded in principles such as respect for territorial integrity, sovereignty, democracy, rule of law, and freedom of navigation and overflight.

 

Emphasis on Lawful Commerce and Dispute Resolution

India and the EU also emphasized the significance of unimpeded lawful commerce and peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). 

Both sides recognized the importance of maintaining stability and security in the region. 

 

EU’s Role in the Indo-Pacific

The EU aims to play a constructive role in the Indo-Pacific by contributing to stability, security, prosperity, and sustainable development. Acting as an “intelligent facilitator,” the EU seeks to promote principles such as democracy, rule of law, human rights, and international law, in collaboration with key partners like India. 

 

In conjunction with the dialogue, the EU delegation in India organized a seminar focused on the security environment in the Indo-Pacific region and the EU’s role as a security actor. The event brought together security and defence experts, think tank representatives, diplomats, Indian officials, and EU member state representatives to exchange insights and perspectives. 

 

Statements from EU Representatives

Joanneke Balfoort highlighted India’s strategic significance as a key partner for the EU in the Indo-Pacific during the seminar. 

“In this interconnected world, mutually beneficial peace, security and defence partnerships are more needed than ever. We see India, a country with considerable strategic weight on the global security balance, as a key partner for the EU in the Indo-Pacific”, said Balfoort.

 

EU Ambassador to India, Herv Delphin, emphasized the evolving global security landscape, stressing the need for enhanced cooperation with international partners, particularly in regions like the Indo-Pacific. 

“The EU is adapting to this new reality by enhancing its own security and defence but also by working together with international partners to address common security challenges to promote peace and stability,” he said.

 

“The growing interconnectedness between dynamics in Europe and the Indo-Pacific region means that cooperation with Asian partners and most notably with India has become more important than ever”, added Delphin. 

As security challenges continue to evolve, the commitment of India and the EU to deepen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region is poised to contribute to peace, stability, and prosperity on a global scale, mandated the seminar.