The 15th EU India Summit was held on July 15, 2020, virtually with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a representative of India and Mr. Charles Michel, and Ms. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Council and the European Commission respectively who represented the EU. Pioneers from both sides reaffirmed to strengthen their partnership to promote effective multilateralism and implement the Sustainable Development Goals to protect the climate and the environment.
Ugo Astuto, EU Ambassador to India stated in the Summit, “The cost of action in climate change, resource efficiency, biodiversity, clean water, and clean air is much smaller than the cost of inaction.”
Therefore, the EU and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, have consented to unite on five calls under the Horizon 2020 Green Deal Work Programme to collectively collaborate in changing both economies into carbon-neutral economies. DBT also plans to co-fund five calls in the areas which are part of the European Green Deal Strategies:
• Clean Energy
• Sustainable industry for a clean and circular economy
• Farm to fork
• Eliminating pollution
To achieve the goal of becoming carbon neutral economies, they emphasized the need for enhancing the relationship between the EU and India on a multilateral level for better collaboration on climate change and other initiatives by both the nations like the International Solar Alliance (ISA), the International Platform on Sustainable Finance (IPSF), the G20 as well as the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) launched by India, to ensure the resilience of the infrastructures to climate change. The Summit also welcomed collaboration between both the nations in the fields of research and innovation and offered opportunities for students and researchers to tap on different opportunities provided by the EU-funded programs like Erasmus+, the Jean Monnet program, and Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions and collaborative projects in Horizon 2020.