India and the European Union (EU) announced the formation of three working groups under the ‘Trade and Technology Council’ that was set up to deepen strategic ties with the trade bloc.

India and the European Union (EU) announced the formation of three working groups under the ‘Trade and Technology Council’ that was set up to deepen strategic ties with the trade bloc. India and EU had in April last year agreed to establish a ‘Trade and Technology Council’, to tackle the challenges at the nexus of trade, trusted technology and security. Such a council is the first for India with any of its partners and second for the EU, following the first one it has set up with the United States (US).

The working group will cover key issues such as strategic technologies, digital governance and connectivity; green and clean energy technologies; and trade, investment and resilient value chains, a joint statement said.

The working Groups will now start preparing for the first meeting of the council, which will take place before the next EU-India Summit in spring of 2023. Ministerial meetings of the council will take place at least once a year, with the venue alternating between the EU and India.

In a rapidly changing geopolitical environment, the EU and India have a common interest in ensuring security, prosperity and sustainable development based on shared values. The TTC will provide the political steer and the necessary structure to coordinate approaches and advance technical work.

On the EU side, the council will be co-chaired by Executive Vice-Presidents Margrethe Vestager and Valdis Dombrovskis. On the Indian side, it will be chaired by S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, and Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Electronics and Information Technology.

The Set of Actions of the Working Group:

  • The working group of strategic technologies, digital governance and digital connectivity will work jointly on areas such as digital connectivity, artificial intelligence, 5G/6G, high performance and quantum computing, semiconductors, cloud systems, cybersecurity, digital skills and digital platforms.
  • As far asgreen and clean energy technologies are concerned, the focus will be on investment and standards in green technologies. Areas to be explored could be clean energy, circular economy, waste management, plastic and litter in the ocean.
  • The trade, investment and resilient value chains group will work on the resilience of supply chains and access to critical components, energy, and raw materials. “It will also work to resolve identified trade barriers and global trade challenges by promoting cooperation in multilateral fora. It will work towards promotion of international standards and cooperation on addressing global geopolitical challenges,” the statement said.