Envoy: EU and India will increase defense and security cooperation

Richard Tibbels, the EU Special Envoy for the Indo-Pacific, stated that the EU views India as a crucial partner in carrying out its plan in light of the significant geopolitical turning points that the world is currently confronting.

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Brussels: Richard Tibbels, the organization’s special envoy for the Indo-Pacific, stated that increased defense and security cooperation between the European Union and India is anticipated as the region’s security conditions deteriorate.

EU’s Intention

“An Indo-Pacific region where sovereign, independent countries have the strength to protect their national interests, free of coercion, is something the EU has a clear interest in,” Tibbels said.

As the world approaches significant geopolitical turning points, we regard India as a crucial ally in carrying out the EU’s Indo-Pacific Strategy. This is also evident in the EU’s Strategic Compass for 2022, which makes special note of India.
With the first joint naval drill in the Gulf of Guinea and India’s participation in an exercise with the EU Operation Atalanta in the North-West Indian Ocean, we have already significantly up our security cooperation in recent years,” Tibbels continued.

EU’s plans

We consider India as an essential partner in implementing the EU’s Indo-Pacific Strategy as major geopolitical turning points draw near. The EU’s Strategic Compass for 2022, which highlights India in particular, demonstrates this as well.
We have already greatly increased our security cooperation in recent years, as seen by the first bilateral naval drill in the Gulf of Guinea and India’s participation in an exercise with the EU Operation Atalanta in the North-West Indian Ocean,” Tibbels said.

Funds Raised

The Enhancing Security in and with Asia (ESIWA) program, which is sponsored by the EU, aims to strengthen maritime security, cyber security, and counterterrorism cooperation. India and the EU collaborate on the initiative.
According to Tibbels, “You are likely to see greater engagement across the Indo-Pacific and an increase in the EU’s security and defense cooperation with India.” Space security will be a major focus of this collaboration.


Given our shared interest in space exploration, he continued, “India and the EU should definitely explore cooperation on space security issues.” In 2023, the EU unveiled its space policy for defence and security.
In 2004, India’s relationship with the EU was elevated to that of a strategic partnership. It is only recently that security and defence have taken centre stage on the discussion.
For instance, at a summit in 2020, the EU and India unveiled a collaborative strategy to 2025. The roadmap pledges to improve military-to-military interactions as well as collaboration in the areas of disarmament, cyber-security, peacekeeping, counter-piracy, and nuclear proliferation.
With the disintegration of the Indo-Pacific regional security order, this has become more crucial.
Intense geopolitical competition, rising tensions in the Taiwan Strait, the South and East China Seas, the DPRK’s (North Korea) efforts undermining the NPT, and border disputes between India and China are all occurring in the Indo-Pacific region. Disinformation campaigns, hostile acts in the cyberspace, and attempts at economic pressure all pose threats to the stability of the region, according to Tibbels.
The UN Charter, international law, particularly UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), and level playing fields for economic connections are all crucial to the EU, he continued. Aggressive military rhetoric and drills must also be avoided.


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