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.
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.