New Delhi: Along with a wide range of other topics, connectivity cooperation between India and the European Union was discussed in a recent Strategic Partnership Review Meeting in Delhi. The meeting emphasised that connectivity projects respect sovereignty and territorial integrity.

According to the joint release of the EU-India review meeting, the meeting was held on May 8 in New Delhi. The Indian side was led by Sanjay Verma, secretary (West), and the EU side was led by Helena Konig, Deputy Secretary General for Economic and Global Issues, European External Action Service.

The meeting went over the whole range of bilateral ties between India and the EU as outlined in the "India-EU Strategic Partnership: A Roadmap to 2025" adopted at the 15th India-EU Summit in 2020. India and The EU went through an extensive review of their successful bilateral relationship in the context of the meetings organised by India under its ongoing G20 Presidency.

The discussions centred on a variety of subjects, including climate change, clean energy, biodiversity, the circular economy, resource efficiency, smart urbanisation, trade, research and innovation, education, mobility, and digital challenges, including data privacy.

Both sides also discussed cooperation in the sphere of connectivity, emphasising that connectivity projects respect sovereignty and territorial integrity. They also took stock of the ongoing negotiations for the Free Trade Agreement, Investment Protection Agreement and Agreement on Geographical Indications and agreed on their importance and the need for full cooperation at the multilateral level and regular bilateral dialogue on economic issues, the joint press release read.

They also reviewed the progress and scope of the newly launched India-EU Trade and Technology Council and looked forward to a successful first Ministerial Meeting under the TTC mechanism on 16 May in Brussels, the release added.

The EU and India discussed the prospects for a world that is safer, wealthier, and more democratic. They expressed their appreciation for the EU-India Human Rights Dialogue's return in 2021 and pledged to continue convening it every year. Additionally, they emphasised the necessity of a comprehensive, just, and long-lasting peace in Ukraine that complies with the UN Charter and international law.

"Both sides emphasised that the rules-based international order must respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity, transparency, and peaceful resolution of disputes. They unequivocally condemned terrorism and violent extremism in all its forms and manifestations including cross-border attacks," the official joint release of EU-India on the Fourth Strategic Partnership Review meeting said.

They also expressed their commitment to increase engagement across all areas with a view of identifying areas to strengthen cooperation, including through the Global Gateway, and looking into priorities for the next India-EU Summit, the release added.