Chandigarh, January 19, 2018: The Ambassador of the European Union to India, H.E.Mr.Tomasz Kozlowski, participated in an international conference titled “EU Day in Chandigarh on EU-India Relations in Foreign Policy and Security: Challenges & Opportunities”, organized by the Department of Defence and National Security Studies, Panjab University in collaboration with European Union to India, here today and invited the students, researchers and faculty members to take full advantage of the various types of scholarship and funding opportunities available under EU-funded programmes.
The Ambassador said this was a concrete example of the steps being taken to strengthen the European multifaceted relationship with India towards implementing the Joint Statement issued at the 14th EU India Summit held in New Delhi on 06 Oct 2017. He informed that the EU’s partnership is already playing an important role in reflecting high level of consumer confidence since 16 years.
The Ambassador invited the students, researchers and faculty to tap the various opportunities available under EU-funded programmes for higher education and research such as Erasmus+ Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions, the Jean Monnet programme and Horizon 2020.
Recalling the Punjabi diaspora stellar contribution to Europe’s economy and society, Ambassador Kozlowski said that "the entrepreneurial zeal and hard-working character of the community have been widely recognized and appreciated".
The EU and India are implementing a Strategic Partnership based on shared principles and the common values of democracy, freedom, and rule of law. India and the EU are both dynamic democracies with a bilateral relationship going back 55 years. The EU India partnership has been shaped by a Joint Action Plan, agreed in 2005 and updated in 2008, and is being taken forward by the Agenda for Action 2020 agreed at the Summit held in Brussels in 2016. "The latest Summit in October 2017" the Ambassador remarked, "has given depth and direction to this process through a wide ranging joint statement which covers deepening trade cooperation, enhancing investment flows in both directions, and broadening dialogue and engagement on global and regional issues, including climate change and migration". Joint statements on combatting terrorism; clean energy and climate change, and smart and sustainable urbanization, were adopted at the summit.
The EU is largest trading partner, accounting for 13.7% of overall trade, ahead of China (11%) and the United States (9.6%). The EU is the second largest investor in India (after Mauritius), with an investment stock valued at 51.2 billion in 2015, and is the primary destination for Indian foreign investment.
Ms. Friederike Tschampa, Head of Political Section, at the Delegation of the European Union, giving a presentation on the European Common Foreign and Security Policy: Challenges and Opportunities gave a detailed account of the evolution of the foreign and security policy, developments since the launch of the global strategy on CFSP since last year, and how the EU and India have been steadily enhancing their bilateral cooperation in this field.
There was a panel discussion on the same topic in which Lt. Gen. K J Singh (retd.), Maharaja Ranjit Singh Chair, Department of Defence and National Security studies, Panjab University, and Prof. Ronki Ram, Panjab University participated along with two experts from European think tanks, Dr. Gareth Price, Senior Research Fellow, Asia Programme, Chatham House The Royal Institute of International Affairs, UK, and Mr. John- Joseph Wilkins, Public Information Officer, EU Institute for Security Studies, Brussels.
As part of the EU Day, presentations were made on the European programmes in the field of higher education and research. The students were especially interested in the scholarship programme, Erasmus+, under which more than 5300 Indian students have received scholarships over the last several years. In the last 3 years alone, about 1,300 students have received full scholarships, 120 Indian universities have been involved in active exchange programmes, and around 100 in joint master programmes or capacity-building projects.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Arun K Grover said that it was a thoughtful event which will benefit the young students and researchers of the University. He talked about the CRIKC, a Knowledge cluster instituted in the region for dissemination of knowledge. Dean International Students, Prof Deepti Gupta, gave the welcome address. Prof. Jaskaran S. Waraich, Chairman, Department of Defence and National Security Studies, Dean, delivered the Vote of Thanks.