India and the European Union on Friday adopted a joint declaration to increase cooperation in counter terrorism measures and maritime security, taking their strategic ties to next level at the 14th India-EU Summit.
After the delegation-level talks with the President of the European Council, Donald Franciszek Tusk, and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, here, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, India and the EU have agreed on the need to fight terrorism together and increase cooperation towards it."
President Tusk noted, "Adopted declaration on counter-terrorism to deal effectively w/threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters,terror financing& arms supply."
Elaborating, Prime Minister Modi said, "They will not only expand bilateral ties but also enhance partnership at the global level. European Union is India's biggest trade partner and one of the biggest FDI partners."
European Council President Donald Tusk said, "Both EU and India have agreed to further develop the political dimension of our relationship by developing our dynamic trade and investment relations; and that we have agreed to step up cooperation on global and regional issues."
He added, "We adopted a joint declaration on counter-terrorism in which we agree to counter violent extremism and radicalisation, particularly on-line, and to deal effectively with the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters, terrorist financing and arms supply."
EU is India's biggest trading partner with bilateral trade reaching USD 90 billion in 2016. EU-India FTA talks had started a decade ago. While EU wants more access to automobiles, wines and spirits, India wants liberal visa regime.
During the meeting, while India pushed the EU for assuming a greater role of a security provider, the EU was firm on pushing the stalled talks of the proposed India-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA), that begun a decade ago.
Tusk said "fair and free trade is not only important for companies on both sides to prosper but it will also strengthen the multilateral rules-based order".
"India has to agree to highest standards of data. If India's standards match that of data protection standard of the EU, then only will we recognise India for data adequacy for free exchange of data between our companies," said Juncker.
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