EU/India — Ashton visits India to bolster strategic partnership

High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cather­ine Ash­ton vis­its India to bol­ster strate­gic part­ner­ship
Cather­ine Ash­ton, High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for For­eign Affairs and Secu­ri­ty Policy/Commission Vice- Pres­i­dent, will vis­it India this week (June 22–25) to enhance and pro­mote EU rela­tions with India – a key strate­gic part­ner for the Euro­pean Union and one of High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cather­ine Ashton’s top pri­or­i­ties dur­ing her man­date.

The main focus of Cather­ine Ashton’s vis­it is the EU-India Min­is­te­r­i­al meet­ing in Del­hi (June 22). The two sides will dis­cuss a wide range of bilat­er­al and glob­al issues includ­ing ter­ror­ism, pira­cy, cli­mate, ener­gy, trade and the finan­cial cri­sis, as well as region­al mat­ters, includ­ing Afghanistan and Pak­istan. The min­is­te­r­i­al meet­ing will also pre­pare the 11th EU-India sum­mit lat­er this year.

Cather­ine Ash­ton said: “The EU and India share both aspi­ra­tions and fun­da­men­tal val­ues, notably a com­mit­ment to mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism in world affairs. We should bol­ster our rela­tion­ship not as an end in itself, but with a real sense of pur­pose.

We need to improve our capac­i­ty to respond joint­ly to glob­al chal­lenges. We must encom­pass a wide range of areas of coop­er­a­tion from secu­ri­ty, cli­mate change and the econ­o­my to migra­tion, edu­ca­tion and cul­ture.”

High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cather­ine Ash­ton hopes to deep­en coop­er­a­tion with India in the area of secu­ri­ty and defence in the post-Lis­bon era, in par­tic­u­lar in the field of cri­sis man­age­ment and anti-pira­cy. With this in mind, HR/VP Ash­ton will be accom­pa­nied on her vis­it by Gilles de Ker­chove, the EU Anti- Ter­ror­ism Coor­di­na­tor, and Gen­er­al Ton Van Osch, Head of EU Mil­i­tary Staff.

She will hold a num­ber of bilat­er­al meet­ings with key politi­cians and pol­i­cy­mak­ers, includ­ing Mr Shiv Shankar Menon, India’s Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Advi­sor. High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cather­ine Ash­ton will meet civ­il soci­ety and vis­it a num­ber of EU fund­ed projects.

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union