Overview of Indo – EU Relationship
India is one of the world’s largest economies, in terms of purchasing power parity human resources, technological competence, Global acceptance as a preferred partner. The country is the fastest-growing large economy, with annual GDP growth rates of around 7%, and on its way to reaching the US$US 7.8 trillion economy mark by 2030.
It is an important player in global economic governance. In 2017, the EU was India’s first trading partner, while India was the EU’s 10thlargest trading partner. For India & Europe countries, there will be even greater opportunities if all 27 countries join in India free trade to contribute to sustainable development.
Security Co-Operation between EU & India
There is a clear imperative for greater understanding between the EU and India on a range of security concerns. Until recently, this imperative has not been obvious. India’s focus has been inward-looking, predicated on the need for rapid economic growth. The European Union and India have been engaged in a strategic partnership since 2004. There is significant scope for better cooperation on the issue of maritime security. Counter-terrorism has been a subject for EU-India discussion since the strategic partnership was forged. The joint declaration highlighted the determination of the EU and India to work together to tackle terrorism. Cooperation is extant in areas such as financing terrorism, designating groups as a terrorist and working together in the UNsystem.
The EU and India are only now beginning to appreciate the importance of the other when engaging with global security challenges. The EU brings a range of experiences to the table that is relevant to India. The EU recognises that today’s security challenges require a full-spectrum approach – pure military solutions rarely work.
Here India comes as the best candidate with its population, technology prowess, and manpower skill including multilingual capabilities, its Space and Nuclear leadership with its long-standing good relationship on the country to country and people to people basis. India has an outstanding record in its integrity and its contribution to human relationship especially in the EU is highly commendable, in short, it has always been on the right side of history. India is also respected being a 10,000 year old and more, civilization and has contributed to the global economy in all spheres.
Need a Strategic Geopolitical concern for both EU and India
EU’s effort to develop bilateral relations with India is motivated by economic, political and strategic concerns. Given worldwide waves of economic nationalism, the EU is also stressing “European strategic autonomy” and economic sovereignty, emphasizing the necessity of mitigating external dependency. India is increasingly viewed by Europeans as an alternative to external dependency for Europe to diversify its external supply chains and to extend European exports and business.
To gain an advantageous position in current international strategic competitions for cutting-edge technologies and emerging industries, the von der Leyen Commission is now carrying forward a new industrial strategy and working to build Europe’s own digital platforms. It regards India as a potential partner for Europe’s digital transformation, considering the highly developed Indian software industry.
As globalization and regional integration suffer constant frustrations, geopolitics is being largely reshaped by emerging mercantilism, nationalism, and populism. With the world economy seriously disrupted by the relentless pandemic and international relations are more unpredictable by fiercer big-power games, closer EU-India relations may add a new element of unpredictability to the already turbulent and disturbing realignment of geopolitics. Economically and strategically. Its overall strategic assessment over its external environment may need to be recalibrated.
However, the prospect of EU-India economic cooperation still remains uncertain because democratic values and political system do not guarantee a steady development of substantial cooperation because there are varied motives and strategic concerns on both sides.
Importance of Indo EU collaboration in Security
- The impact of the pandemic might lead to destabilisation of states that were already weak and fragile, to begin with, and thereby require more peacekeeping deployments; the India-EU partnership can play an important role in the current pandemic;
- Consequently, peacekeeping fell behind other security areas, such as maritime security or non-proliferation, where regular security dialogues are already in place;
- An important player in Security & Counter-Terrorism;
- Training cooperation thus necessarily would have to involve military-to-military interaction between India and the EU;
- India and EU nations are strongly committed to the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda initiated by the UN in 2000; both have been actively involved in the training of third countries;
- India’s cooperation in Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) projects would undoubtedly bolster the EU-India strategic partnership.
- EU and India have agreed to strengthen cooperation and work towards tangibles outcomes on shared objectives such as counter-piracy, counter-terrorism – including counter-radicalisation – and cybersecurity,
- By EU joining hands with India, it can lead to further strengthening and maintaining economic stability as well as security throughout Europe, as well as enabling the EU to expand its industries and technologies into greater global markets, which places the EU on a stronger platform and less reliant upon it’s more aggressive non-EU trade partners it currently trades with.
- Long term security and economic stability of the EU can only be truly achieved when it is allied economically and in its security with nations that hold the same ethos, and India does hold that same ethos, far greater than any other non-EU nations, and this must be recognized by the EU and India, and acted upon.
Global Technological advances in Security, Surveillance
As 2021 begins, nations and security experts avidly look forward to the latest technology trends in the security industry. Recent developments have shown that 2021 technology trends will depend significantly on the advancements in intelligent video surveillance, analytics, and cloud storage. Trend predictions from certain manufacturers also indicate this.
Trend 1:AI video analytics leveraging deep learning to business intelligence;
Trend 2: Beyond “edge” to increase speed and efficiency;
Trend 3: Zero or low-contact solutions as Pandemic fear continues;
Trend 4: Cloud technology as IoT makes more inroads;
Trend 5: Cybersecurity a primary concern for video surveillance;
Trend 6: More acceptance for video surveillance along with privacy laws.
Current technology trends indicate 2021 will see even more extensive use of artificial intelligence in video surveillance. AI video analytics is already helping businesses in security and beyond. With COVID-19, the use of contactless technology has also become more popular.
As the world recovers from the economic crisis, there will be an increased interest in solutions that can save costs and improve efficiency. Intelligent video surveillance technology with analytics and cloud storage is the solution to these needs. Meanwhile, CCTV cybersecurity will continue to remain a significant concern, and vendors would give greater importance to hardening measures.
Use of Key Technologies in Securing EU along with Indian enterprises
Last December 2020, in “The Top 20 Security Predictions for 2020,” reported this about the new decade: “Common prediction themes across enterprises include vendors and service providers in both developed and developing nations, more targeted ransomware, more ways to attack the cloud, and an explosion of problems with deep fake technology.
Cybersecurity threats are almost always cross-border, and a cyber-attack on the critical facilities of one country can affect the global countries. The EU Member States have strong governmental bodies that supervise cybersecurity in their country, especially in sectors that are critical for our societies, and to work together with their counterparts in other Member States by sharing information.
While many emerging technologies are still in the conceptual stage, the following are some that could realistically be considered over the coming year for India and EU enterprises.
- 5G Networking for the Enterprises;
- IoT Overcomes Obstacles of Enterprises;
- Data Analytics Gets to Work;
- Artificial Intelligence Drives Automation;
- Automation in the IT Shop;
- Unified Security Posture;
- Plug-and-Play Deployments Emerge;
- Edge Computing.
It is necessary to tackle traditional challenges of enterprises security and maintaining freedom of Trade and business environment for both India and the EU. As a way forward, both must focus on coordinating efforts to address software piracy, crime and terrorism through greater intelligence-sharing and developing a common cybersecurity awareness.
Setting up development and manufacturing units in Indo EU Biz Corridor
Defence and Security HUBs (Defense and Security manufacturing units) can be built with the aim of providing quality technology, equipment and support for India and EU Defence and Civil security. The underlying idea is to develop technology and knowledge base for its basic technical educational, technical, vocational, research and security needs.
Engagement: Establishing a new level of engagement with Defence to deliver better outcomes for Defence into the future.
Capability: Creating longer-term opportunities by developing new defence capabilities in areas aligned to both the India and EU nation’s industrial strengths and future Defence needs.
Research & Development: Leveraging India& EU be world-leading research and development centres to support Defence in future technology requirements for Global countries.
Skills: Mobilising both India & the EU will be the largest supply of defence-related workers and Defence Educational and Vocational sectors to meet Defence’s skills for developing countries.
Industry: Increasing the competitiveness of Indo-EU Defence Industry to be better positioned to secure new defence related opportunities.
Equally importantly, India is recognizing that while relations with national European governments are valuable, the EU also has much to offer. This with Smart Secured Governance would ensure the creation of one of the largest single markets – US$1 trillion in spending and investment – offering great opportunities for both trading partners. Both sides have much to gain from deepening their association so that the full potential of EU-India relations can be explored, secured tapped and realized. Here Indian enterprises can be encouraged to expand in the EU with Technologies available here which will ensure there is good Employment opportunities and business growth in both EU and India. India is considered as Superpower in Software and services sectors which would complement the manufacturing sectors which could start with simple Security systems to complex Warships, submarines and take a joint leadership position for the world. This could boost some of the sagging economies and consolidate others that are in their prime position. With this going forward there would-be long-term stability in the region with the EU economy reincarnating to growth and India with its huge young educated manpower getting much-required employment and both the countries getting stability and Techno-Economic growth.
Dr. P. Sekhar,
Chairman, Global Smart City Panel and Micro-Tech Global Foundation
Expert in Global Philosophy, Associate Publisher, New Europe
Sir Vassili Thomas,
Global Green Environment Philanthropist and Humanitarian & CEO of Vassili Group an Infrastructure Development Enterprises