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4) Despite sharing a congruence of values and democratic ideals, India and the EU have both struggled to build a partnership that can be instrumental in shaping the geopolitics and geoeconomics of the 21st century. Comment. (250 words) 

Topic: India and its bilateral relations

4) Despite sharing a congruence of values and democratic ideals, India and the EU have both struggled to build a partnership that can be instrumental in shaping the geopolitics and geoeconomics of the 21st century. Comment. (250 words) 

Reference

Why this question

European Union releasing its strategy on India after 14 years. Launching the strategy document, the European Union (EU) Ambassador to India, Tomasz Kozlowski, underlined that “India is on the top of the agenda of the EU in the field of external relations… this strategy paper reflects that EU has taken India’s priorities very seriously. We are ready for a joint leap.” The 2004 EU-India declaration on building bilateral strategic partnership, which this road map replaces, has not had much of a success in reconfiguring the relationship as was expected. Hence it is important to know about the status quo of India EU relations along with the impact of this strategy document.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain the status of India EU relationship along with the impact of 2004 EU-India declaration. Thereafter, it expects us to explain the new strategy document and how it will benefit India EU relations going forward. Finally, we need to provide a view of why good relationship between the two matters and how it is to be achieved.

Directive word

Comment – When you are asked to comment, you have to pick main points and give your ‘opinion’ on them based on evidences or arguments stemming from your wide reading. Your opinion may be for or against, but you must back your argument with evidences.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain about the new strategy document and the 2004 declaration.

Body

  • Discuss the status quo of India EU relationship from an economic, political, strategic view point.
  • Bring out the reasons behind limited progress in the relationship – dealing with the bureaucratic maze of EU, India also objected to the high moralistic tone emanating from Brussels. Where individual nations of the EU started becoming more pragmatic in their engagement with India, Brussels continued to be big-brotherly in its attitude on political issues and ignorant of the geostrategic imperatives of Indian foreign and security policies.
  • Explain how the strategy document released seeks to change that – The new strategy underscores a transformative shift in Brussels vis-à-vis India and talks of key focus areas such as the need to conclude a broader Strategic Partnership Agreement, intensifying dialogue on Afghanistan and Central Asia, strengthening technical cooperation on fighting terrorism, and countering radicalisation, violent extremism and terrorist financing. More significant from the perspective of the EU, which has been traditionally shy of using its hard power tools, is a recognition of the need to develop defence and security cooperation with India.

Conclusion – Give your view on the future of the relationship and discuss way forward.

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