The EU and India share already strong trade and investment ties, with bilateral trade in goods and services exceeding EUR 100 billion; the EU accounts for 22% of India’s FDI inflows. Significant Indian investments have also taken place in the EU. The EU-India Summit on 15 July further emphasized the strength of bilateral ties setting out an ambitious Roadmap up to 2025 for our strategic partnership.
There is something deeply and comprehensively flawed in the EU’s relations with its Mediterranean neighbourhood. After more than 50 years of European cooperation, agreements, declarations and plans with the southern Mediterranean and the Arab countries, only one new democratic state (Tunisia) has emerged. A benevolent observer would say this democratisation process was not initiated as a result of the EU’s resolute support for a population demanding freedom from an authoritarian regime.
Summits are occasions to provide a sense of direction and the 15th India-EU summit to be held in virtual mode on 15th July is no exception. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen are fully aware that their meeting is taking place in unusual times when both India and EU are facing new challenges.
After the massive defeat of the Libyan National Army (LNA) at the hands of Operation Burkan Al-Ghadab (Volcano of Rage) - which supports the internationally recognized Government of Accord (GNA) - the new frontline is just west of Sirte, a city 370 km southeast of Tripoli and 350 km southwest of Benghazi, strategically located at the entrance to Libya’s Oil Crescent.
Chinese officials have been repeatedly calling for closer cooperation with Europe, but the era of Covid-19 has made China-EU relations sour to an unprecedented low level since the two formally established diplomatic relations, 45 years ago.
“Serbia isn’t a democracy anymore”. This will be the most important assessment that will follow the vote to renew the parliament in Belgrade on 21st June. The downgrade from democracy to “hybrid regime” was certified by the last report issued by Freedom House that confirmed the decline of the Serbian democracy in the last 10 years.
Today’s global context indicates that disparities and inequalities in human development are widespread across the world and they will probably increase in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. The availability of natural resources is limited and global warming, linked to human activity, is putting the survival of forests, cities and people at risk. Geopolitical implications prompt policymakers to look at existing and new connectivity infrastructure more as a proxy of their sovereignty than as an opportunity for inclusive economic growth.
The coronavirus pandemic has deeply shocked the entire world, showing how fragile our societies and economies are when dealing with unexpected and unprecedented crises. A sudden health crisis has rapidly turned into a global economic crisis that is completely reshaping priorities for policymakers and economic operators. However, the urgency of climate change mitigation has not disappeared from the European agenda. Indeed, it has been included as a main pillar of the Next Generation EU – the Recovery Plan for Europe.
How will energy-climate scenarios evolve in times of pandemic? In a positive direction, one could argue, if one considers the clear skies, breathable air, cars missing from streets, declining energy consumption, and a significant drop in climate-altering emissions. But this perspective does not hold.
The many skeptics of the annual G7 summit of major market democracies have long doubted that the promises its leaders make together from their sunny summit peak are actually kept when they return to the dark valleys of domestic politics back home. Such skepticism has spiked as US president Donald Trump prepares to host the 2020 G7 summit, amidst a still deadly COVID-19 pandemic and massive economic pain.