The European Union and India
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The European Union and India

Rhetoric or Meaningful Partnership?

Pascaline Winand, Marika Vicziany and Poonam Datar

This multi-disciplinary book provides a comprehensive analysis of the EU–India relationship from 1950 to the present day, as a way of assessing whether a meaningful and sustainable relationship is emerging and whether it will play a role in the future of international diplomacy and business.
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Chapter 9: EU–India security issues: fundamental incompatibilities

Marika Vicziany


In 2004 the European Commission noted that the European Union’s (EU) relations with India had shifted from trade to ‘wider political issues’ and that this ‘should be reinforced’ (EC 2004). The joint press statement of the fifth India–EU summit of 8 November then announced that this realignment of objectives was driven by the fact that both India and the EU ‘are seen as forces for global stability’ (Council of the European Union 2004). Today this last statement strikes us as ironic, given the turmoil that has in recent years emerged within the EU itself despite the fact that the EU as a whole remains a solvent entity as far as its financial and economic relationship with the external world is concerned (Desai 2012). In this chapter we examine the expectations that were raised by the 2004 EU–India Strategic Partnership Communication from the European Commission and how these have been met. In particular, we focus on the question of security using three case studies as a way of analyzing the nature of EU and Indian interests and how these intersect with each other. The three case studies were selected on the basis of their importance to both the EU and India; at the start of our work we had no conceptualization of how EU and Indian interests interacted on these issues so we are reasonably confident that we have not imposed any pre-existing assumptions on our analysis.

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