A delegation of Members of the European Parliament, across political parties, interacted with SFG in Mumbai on 31 October 2013. On the agenda was the question of the future of free trade between the European Union and India.
The delegation included Members of the European Parliament Pawel Zalewski (EPP), Inese Vaidere (EPP), Maria Badia I Cutchet (S&D), Niccolo Rinaldi (ALDE), David Campbell Bannerman (ECR) and Anthea Mcintyre(ECR). The MEP’s were accompanied by senior staff of the European Parliament and the EU Diplomatic Mission in Delhi.
The discussion began with a philosophical perspective of the world order in Europe and India. Conversation revolved around questions of whether the world should be governed on the basis of power or values, the concept of great power and the implications of pursuing great power for economy and trade only.
The European Parliament Delegation introduced new developments, particularly the current discussion between the USA and the European Union on the new transatlantic economic deal. The SFG delegation expressed that this provided a set of new opportunities for India’s engagement with the world.
Also discussed were new avenues for partnership between Europe and India including nano technology, solar technology, research and innovation and education. It was observed that the the FP7 could be one of the important vehicles of cooperation between the European Union and India. The importance of engaging with different stakeholders in the corporate sector as well as the media field was also noted.
The interaction will continue in early 2014 when SFG visits Brussels.