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International Issues

Bilateral and regional cooperation


Basis of EU-India Cooperation

The European Union and the Republic of India benefit from a longstanding relationship going back to the early 1960s. The Joint Political Statement of 1993 and the 1994 Co-operation Agreement, which is the current legislative framework for cooperation, opened the door to a broad political dialogue, which evolves through annual Summits, regular ministerial and expert level meetings.  The EU-India Strategic Partnership was created in 2004 to enable the EU and India to better address international issues in the context of ever-increasing globalisation. At the 2005 EU-India Summit, leaders adopted the EU-India Joint Action Plan.

Environment Dialogue

The Action Plan defines common objectives and identifies a wide range of supporting activities in the areas of political, economic, development and environmental co-operation. A regular dialogue on environment was initiated leading to the establishment in 2006 of a Joint Working Group on Environment and an EU-India Environment Forum.

Meetings of the Joint Working Group on Environment are held on a yearly basis. The Working Group is a platform for political dialogue and has facilitated greater co-operation in particular on biodiversity conservation, forest protection, chemicals policy, and waste and water management.  The most recent JWGE convened in Brussels in April 2014.

The Environment Forum involving Indian authorities, business, academia and civil society convenes at regular intervals. Each Forum, normally held in New Delhi, addresses a particular theme. The 5th Environment Forum in 2011 discussed ways to safeguard biodiversity, the 6th Forum in November 2012 addressed sustainable forestry, while the 7th Forum in February 2015 was dedicated to the circular economy, with a focus on waste management. A report from the latter Forum is available here.

In November 2015, the Environment Directorate-General of the European Commission and the Indian Ministry for Water Resources, Ganga Rejuvenation and River Development organised the first Indo-European Water Forum in New Delhi. More information is available here.

As a follow-up to the Forum, at the 13th EU-India Summit in Brussels on 30th March 2016, the India-EU Water Partnership (IEWP) was officially launched. The IEWP aims to strengthen technological, scientific and management capabilities of India and the EU in the field of water management. The implementation of the IEWP will bring together interested EU Member States and Indian States, European and Indian institutions, businesses and civil society, opening up opportunities for exchange of views on regulatory approaches, best practices, business solutions and research and innovation opportunities in the water field in India and Europe, taking into account lessons learnt in the implementation of the EU’s water policy.

Further information

In addition, a number of projects and programmes have also been launched. For further information on these projects please see: Website of the Delegation of the EU to India.

For an  update on EU-India relations, see: The India page of the European External Action Service.

For more information on the activities of the Environment Directorate-General of the European Commission, please write to