Date: Mar 14, 2022
India–France in the Indo–Pacific: Building for a Sustainable and Stable Future This event is in association with the French Embassy in India.
For the first time in fourteen years, France has taken over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) from Slovenia in January 2022. French President Emmanuel Macron has laid out his nation’s priorities during this Presidency by enunciating the motto: “Recovery, power and belonging.” As President Macron aims to foster cooperation in Europe by emphasising on sovereignty and strategic autonomy, there will be a renewed focus on multiple issues across Europe, such as economic regulation and accountability of digital platforms, ecological transition or establishing European legislation on minimum wages. Given the quality of France–India strategic partnership and their shared vision of strategic autonomy, India–EU relations under the French Presidency are likely to gather further momentum after positive developments in 2021, in particular the Porto meeting in May. On the sidelines of the G20 Meeting in Rome and after meeting President Macron, Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed with the EU President Ursula von der Leyen the deepening of India–EU relations in areas such as free trade, commerce, renewable energy, culture, and environment in addition to developing greater cooperation in the Indo–Pacific. Given strong bilateral ties between New Delhi and Paris, the French Presidency of the EU naturally has the potential to further galvanise India–EU relations. This session will build on the developments of the Ministerial Forum for Cooperation in the Indo–Pacific on 22 February and highlight key areas of collaboration between India and France in the contemporary geopolitical situation. The key questions to be discussed include:
  1. How does the EU Indo–Pacific strategy represent Europe’s willingness to play a leading role in emerging regional geopolitics in the region?
  2. What are the main takeaways from the Ministerial Forum for the Indo–Pacific that was held in Paris last month?
  3. iii. How will France’s strategic ties with India influence the EU’s view of India as an Indo–Pacific partner during the French presidency?
  4. The EU has labelled China a strategic competitor while India has played a key role in constructing a deterrent to China through the Quad. Will a French Presidency of the EU help develop some convergence between India and Europe on China policy?
  5. Does the war in Ukraine change the security narrative in the Indo–Pacific?