India-EU to hold security and defence consultations in early May

  • Launching a new dialogue on space security and boosting defence industry collaboration will be a key focus of the two sides.

Shashank Mattoo
First Published22 Apr 2024, 06:37 PM IST
During the earlier talks, the two sides discussed various means of increasing India-EU cooperation on maritime security, cooperation in co-development and co-production of defence equipment, etc. (Photo: PTI)
During the earlier talks, the two sides discussed various means of increasing India-EU cooperation on maritime security, cooperation in co-development and co-production of defence equipment, etc. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: India and the European Union are expected to hold their bilateral security and defence consultations in New Delhi in early May, with new dialogue on space security and boosting defence industry collaboration. according to persons aware of the matter.

During the first talks in 2022, the two sides discussed security matters relating to the Indo-Pacific, Europe and India’s neighbourhood.

“During the consultations, 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 PESCO,” India’s mission in Brussels said in 2022.

PESCO refers to the EU’s Permanent Economic and Security Cooperation Organization, which was launched in 2017. The body was set up to boost planning and cooperation between EU member states to improve the continent’s military and security capabilities.

Also Read | India-EU sign MoU on semiconductors

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the European Union has placed more emphasis on the continent’s lack of preparedness for a security crisis. Cooperation with India’s defence industry, which has close defence ties with major EU powers like France, could be an area of interest for both sides.

Growing cooperation

Over the last few years, the EU’s security cooperation with India has increased considerably. In 2020, the EU and India released a joint roadmap to 2025, which focused on strengthening military to military relations and cooperation on counter-piracy, peacekeeping, nuclear proliferation and disarmament. The two sides have launched dialogues on maritime security and defence in addition to existing forums on cyber security and counter-terrorism. The EU also appointed a defence attache to its mission in New Delhi in November 2023.

In October 2023, India and the EU held their first joint naval exercises in the Gulf of Guinea.

The 27-nation alliance has also started a series of initiatives to strengthen security cooperation with nations in the Indo-Pacific region. The goal of the EU's CRIMARIO initiative is to give Indo-Pacific nations better maritime domain awareness capabilities.

The Enhancing Security in and with Asia (ESIWA) program, sponsored by the EU, strengthens collaboration in the areas of cyber security, maritime security, and counterterrorism. India and the EU collaborate on the initiative.

“You are likely to see an increase in the EU’s security and defence cooperation with India and greater engagement across the Indo-Pacific," EU Special Envoy for the Indo-Pacific Richard Tibbels told Mint in an earlier interview. This includes cooperation on space security

“Cooperation on space security issues should also certainly be explored between India and the EU as we both have high stakes in the space domain," he added.

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First Published:22 Apr 2024, 06:37 PM IST
HomeNewsIndiaIndia-EU to hold security and defence consultations in early May

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