India is gradually shifting its focus on Europe and exploring opportunities that can be realised in the post pandemic world

India and Europe have many opportunities Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar said at the Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture 2020.

Delivering the lecture on October 31, he said that the pandemic has changed trajectories for many nations, societies and families, however, there are opportunities that can be realised.

“At a collective level, we are still limited by our imagination to fully grasp the complications of an era we have now entered. And it is when contemplating these uncertainties that came upon us so suddenly, that the value of leadership in difficult circumstances is really recognised,” EAM S Jaishankar said while calling the COVID-19 pandemic as the most devastating event in living memory.

In the history of modern India, few symbolise that more appropriately than Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, he added.

Calling Europe a ‘natural partner’ to India, he said that India’s relationship with Europe has been consolidated with larger individual partners. India is seeking to deepen ties with the European Union, he added.

“The partnership with France has assumed strategic connotations, ties with Germany are coming into their own, there is greater engagement with sub-regions of Europe, definitely more conversations with Brussels, and probably, a refreshing of traditional ties with the UK. As a region full of capabilities, resources and best practices, Europe is a natural partner for a more ambitious India,” he said.

India is gradually shifting its focus on Europe and exploring opportunities that can be realised in the post pandemic world.

On October 29, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla at the Institut Français des Relations Internationales (IFRI) reaffirmed India’s support to the nations working towards reforming the system of multilateralism.

As India resumes the membership of the United Nations Security Council next year, he said, India is seeking coordination with France on immediate challenges as well as in setting strategic directions for the UN system. “We are working with France in building a series of multilateral responses to global challenges,” he said.

Not only France but India is partnering with other countries in Europe in order to transform India to make it more green, more digital and more technology-driven, Europe stands out as a partner of choice, he said.

He said, India awaits the 16th India-EU Leaders Summit in 2021 which might add another layer to the friendship between two sides.