The relationship between the European Union (EU) and India has evolved in recent years, from that of aid donor and recipient, to one of partnership with opportunities for mutual benefit. However, India has a population of more than one billion and is home to a third of the world’s poor.

Unemployment is high, there are disparities in standards of living, and minorities continue to suffer from a disproportionate lack of basic services, such as elementary education, primary healthcare, or safe drinking water.

Cooperation 2007-13

The EU-India Strategy Paper (2007-13) outlines the priority areas for EU assistance which respond to two major challenges of the Millennium Development Goals: health (40% of assistance) and education (22% of assistance).

The remaining 38% of the budget has been allocated to pro-poor programmes, economic sectoral dialogues and cooperation, support to civil society and cultural and academic exchanges. The initial multi-annual indicative programme (2007-10) allocates €260 million to the country to implement priorities.

India also benefits from the EU’s regional and thematic programmes, providing grant support to various organisations.





Key country statistics

  • Total population (2015): 1 311 051 000
  • Life expectancy (at birth) (2015): 66 years (male), 69 years (female)
  • Human Development Index - Medium human development (2014): 0.609
  • Population living below $1.90 a day (2011): 21.3%
  • Income share held by lowest 40% of income distribution (2011): 20%
  • Lower middle income country - Gross National Income per capita (2014): 1,219 US$ (constant 2005 US$)
  • Average Gross Domestic Product growth over 5 years (2011-2015): 6.6%

Selected results achieved with EU support through projects and programmes completed between mid-2014 and mid-2015

Inclusive Growth and poverty reduction

  • 4 000 young people (2 000 girls and 2 000 boys) from marginalised communities were trained to become community service providers to provide livelihood services.
  • 1 774 000 persons from 5 700 villages significantly reduced their vulnerability through an increase in agricultural know-how and associated livelihood skills.

Employment and Social Protection

  • 3 internationally benchmarked nodal centres for new emerging technology skills were established became operational. They include laboratories which act as hubs transferring net skills to people.
  • 3 000 vulnerable and marginalised young people (1 000 female and 2 000 male) from Sivagangai, Bankura, Murshidabad, Purulia, South 24 Parganas and Ahmednagar were trained in new and emerging technologies.
  • 11 000 vulnerable and marginalised young people (aged between 16 and 35 years) from Sirsa and Sitapur received training in English for the workplace including vocational guidance, enabling students to access job positions for which English skills are needed.
  • 3 700 vulnerable and marginalised young people in Sirsa and Sitapur (240 female and 3 460 male) were trained in technical skills related to automobile, hospitality and agriculture services and received job guidance and support for job placements.
  • 31 000 marginalised women have benefitted from training in employment-related skills to find better employment.
  • 4 800 marginalised women have become employed (self-employment or in microenterprises)
  • An Aviation State Safety Plan consistent with international best practice and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) guidance has been developed by the Air Safety Directorate and is functional.
  • A recognised degree in aviation management was established and the first academic year with 9 students has been completed.


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