New Delhi, July 13 (IANS) Despite the exit of Britain, the European Union remains committed to its partnership with India, EU Ambassador to India Tomasz Kozlowski said on Wednesday.
“My statement is that the EU remains committed to its partnership with India after Brexit,” Kozlowski aid in an interaction with the media here.
“India is an important actor in the international arena,” he said.
He said that while India was the EU’s 10th trading partner, the EU was India’s largest trading partner.
“Last year, trade between India and the EU stood at 100 billion euros,” he said.
“Let me tell you, trade between both sides is very much balanced.”
According to Kozlowski, the India-EU summit during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Brussels in March this year invigorated the partnership.
“The summit adopted a number of agreements that are very result-oriented,” he said.
“We have analysed all Indian flagship programmes.”
He said that the EU has made some suggestions regarding the flagship programmes of India but stressed that these were not in the form of assistance but as a partnership.
While the EU-India clean energy and climate partnership has been launched, the EU-India startup partnership would be launched in October this year, the Ambassador, who hails from Poland, said.
He said that the European Investment Bank (EIB) has launched a credit line of 1.2 billion euros for Indian partners.
“The EIB has offered 450 million euros to the Lucknow metro,” Kozlowski said.
“The EIB will also open its branch in India later this year,” he stated, while adding that EIB loans were not commercial but concessional.
He said the EU was cooperating with India on international issues, including nuclear non-proliferation, cyber security, anti-terrorism and anti-radicalisation.
Asked about the EU’s position on Britain’s exit, the Ambassador said: “EU regrets but respects Brexit.”
Pointing out that Britain was still a member of the EU, he said that it would take two years to negotiate its exit under Article 50 of the EU constitution.
He said the remaining 27 members of the EU were determined to remain united.
Stating that though though the EU faced crises like financial, migration and now Britain’s exit, Kozlowski said that it has managed to handle such matters in a better way now.
“After the financial crises in Greece, Spain and Iceland, we have introduced a lot of instruments which have made us more resilient,” he stated.
“The European Central Bank has taken new roles for financial management.”
As for migration from hot spots in North Africa and the Middle East, he said that though there were many challenges, now the situation was better.
“Last year, we decided to have European border and coast guards,” the Ambassador said.
“The EU is committed to contribute to world peace,” he added.