Context: India & the European Union agreed to renew the Agreement on Scientific cooperation for the next five years, 2020-2025, at the 15th India-EU Summit, a virtual one which was led by the Prime Minister from India’s side. 

About the agreement

  • The Agreement was initially signed on 23 November 2001 and renewed two times in 2007 and 2015.
  • This will expand the cooperation in scientific and technological research and strengthen the conduct of cooperative activities in areas of common interest.
  • The mobility of researchers and innovators would be promoted in both directions. 
  • The cooperation has been focused on water, green transport, e-mobility, clean energy, circular economy, bio-economy, health, and ICT. 
  • Additional areas, such as climate change, sustainable urban development, manufacturing, advanced materials, nanotechnologies and biotechnology, food processing, and ocean research may also be considered in future endeavours. 

Significance: The EU and India are at the forefront of human development and innovation. 

  • For India, addressing the basic needs of its people, including through frugal innovation, and excelling in high-tech markets are twin objectives. 
  • Both areas offer mutually beneficial opportunities for EU-India cooperation. Increased exchanges between students, researchers, and professionals would benefit both sides. 
  • India and the EU share a mutual interest in reciprocal mobility of talent.

Way forward for the EU-India cooperation

  • Foster innovation by promoting networking between EU and Indian innovators, start-ups, incubators, and accelerators. 
    • It can be done by setting up joint platforms, both offline and virtual, and engaging in coaching, training and staff exchanges. 
  • Mobility: Highly qualified workers could be integrated into Indian and EU-led innovation systems industries and help maintain technology-based leadership and sharing of best practices, internationalization of SMEs, and contributing in the global value chain.

15th India-EU summit

  • The 15th Summit between India and the European Union (EU) was held in virtual format on 15th July 2020. 
  • India was represented by the Prime Minister. The EU was represented by Mr. Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Ms. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.
  • The leaders adopted the "India-EU Strategic Partnership: A Roadmap to 2025” to guide cooperation between India and the EU over the next five years


European Union:

  • It is a political and economic union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe.
  • The EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, and only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. 
  • EU policies aim to- 
    • Ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the internal market;
    • Enact legislation in justice and home affairs; and 
    • Maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development.
  • The EU and European citizenship were established when the Maastricht Treaty came into force in 1993.
  • The EU traces its origins to the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC), established, respectively, by the 1951 Treaty of Paris and 1957 Treaty of Rome.
  • On 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom became the first member state to leave the EU.
    • Following a 2016 referendum, the UK signified its intention to leave and negotiated a withdrawal agreement. 
  • The UK is in a transitional phase until at least 31 December 2020, during which it remains subject to EU law and part of the EU single market and customs union.
  • Headquarters - Brussels, Belgium.
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