The India-EU Connectivity Conference, organized jointly by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), EU Delegation to India, and the Asian Confluence, is set to take place in Meghalaya from June 1 to June 2. The conference aims to explore opportunities for enhancing connectivity investments in India’s North Eastern States and its neighboring countries, including Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. The event is a significant outcome of the India-EU Connectivity partnership launched during the India-EU Leaders’ Meeting in May 2021.
Inauguration and Participants
The conference will be inaugurated by Conrad Sangma, the Chief Minister of Meghalaya, along with Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs. The event will witness the participation of senior officials from the Indian government, the EU Commission, representatives from North Eastern states, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, as well as stakeholders from the private sector. The collective insights and views shared by the participants will contribute to shaping concrete projects for joint implementation in the areas of digital, energy, and transport connectivity.
Focus on Three Pillars
Digital, Energy, and Transport: The India-EU Connectivity Conference will concentrate on three essential pillars of connectivity: digital, energy, and transport. These pillars have been identified as key areas for collaboration and development in order to strengthen connectivity and foster regional integration. By focusing on digital infrastructure, energy networks, and transport systems, the conference aims to identify tangible projects that can enhance connectivity in the region.
Boosting Connectivity Investments
The primary objective of the conference is to explore opportunities to boost connectivity investments in India’s North Eastern States and its neighboring countries. The North Eastern region of India, with its unique geographical location, presents immense potential for increased connectivity, trade, and economic cooperation. The conference will serve as a platform to discuss and identify specific projects that can facilitate seamless connectivity within the region and beyond, fostering economic growth and regional integration.
Engagement with Neighboring Countries
The India-EU Connectivity Conference recognizes the importance of engaging with neighboring countries such as Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh to promote cross-border connectivity. By strengthening connectivity between India and its neighboring nations, the conference aims to enhance trade, people-to-people exchanges, and overall regional development. The participation of stakeholders from these countries will provide valuable insights and perspectives, fostering collaboration and mutual growth.
About European Union (EU), Key Points
Formation: The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 27 member states located primarily in Europe. It was established with the signing of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, although its origins can be traced back to the European Coal and Steel Community formed in 1951.
- Objectives: The EU aims to promote peace, stability, and economic prosperity among its member states. It seeks to achieve this through economic integration, the free movement of goods, services, capital, and people, and the establishment of common policies and institutions.
- Single Market: One of the key achievements of the EU is the creation of a single market, also known as the internal market. It allows for the free movement of goods, services, capital, and labor within the EU, eliminating trade barriers and fostering economic growth.
- Eurozone: The Eurozone is a subset of EU member states that have adopted the euro as their official currency. Currently, 19 out of the 27 EU member states use the euro. The common currency promotes economic integration and facilitates cross-border trade and investment within the Eurozone.
- Institutions: The EU has several key institutions that play a crucial role in decision-making and governance. These include the European Commission (executive branch), the European Council (composed of heads of state or government), the European Parliament (representing EU citizens), and the Court of Justice of the European Union (ensuring the interpretation and application of EU law).
- Policies and Areas of Competence: The EU has competencies in various areas, including trade, agriculture, environment, justice and home affairs, and foreign policy. It formulates policies and regulations in these domains to ensure harmonization and cooperation among member states.
- Enlargement: The EU has expanded over time through a process of enlargement. Several countries, mostly from Eastern and Central Europe, have joined the EU since its establishment, increasing its membership from the original six founding members to the current 27.
- Common Foreign and Security Policy: The EU has a common foreign and security policy aimed at promoting peace, stability, and the protection of human rights. It coordinates the foreign policy positions of its member states and conducts diplomatic missions and crisis management operations.
- EU Citizenship: Every citizen of an EU member state is also a citizen of the European Union. EU citizenship grants individuals certain rights, including the freedom to move, reside, and work within the EU, as well as the right to consular protection from any EU member state’s diplomatic mission.
Brexit: In 2016, the United Kingdom held a referendum in which a majority voted to leave the EU. This led to the process known as Brexit, and the UK officially withdrew from the EU on January 31, 2020, marking a significant development in the EU’s history.