Medha IAS

First-ever Security, Defence Dialogue between India-EU

India held the first-ever Security and Defence Consultations with European Union on 10th June 2022 at Brussels, capital city of Belgium.

  • The two sides reviewed the entire gamut of their defence relations and evolving security situation in Europe, India’s neighbourhood and the Indo-Pacific.
  • The two sides also discussed various means of increasing India-EU cooperation on maritime security, implementation of the European code of conduct on arms export to India's neighborhood, cooperation in co-development and co-production of defence equipment, including India's participation in Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) in the area of security and defence policy.
  • Both sides agreed to increase India-EU defence and security cooperation as an important pillar of the bilateral strategic relations.
  • The next consultations will be held in Delhi at a mutually agreed convenient time.
India-EU: Recent Initiatives

Maritime Security Dialogue

  • The two sides have a number of positive developments in the area of security and defence cooperation in recent years, including the establishment of a regular maritime security dialogue, which met for the second time in February 2022.

Defence Exercise

  • The first-ever joint naval exercise between India and the EU was held during 18-19 June 2021 in the Gulf of Aden.

India-EU FTA

  • India and the EU are set to formally restart negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) soon.
  • India-EU FTA negotiations had been on the back burner after they were started in May 2013. However, an anti-China sentiment and the need for de-risking the supply chain amid geopolitical uncertainties have reignited several stalled trade talks this year.
  • Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal had said that India will conclude a FTA with the 27-nation group by next year.

Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO)

  • The Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) is the part of the European Union's (EU) security and defence policy (CSDP) in which 25 of the 27 national armed forces pursue structural integration.
  • Based on Article 42.6 and Protocol 10 of the Treaty on European Union, introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009, PESCO was first initiated in 2017.
  • PESCO is similar to enhanced co-operation in other policy areas, in the sense that integration does not require that all EU member states participate.