India, EU identify new activities to complement Joint Action Plan

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Marseilles (France), Sept.29 : The European Union and India have identified new activities to complement the 2005 India-EU Joint Action Plan, with the objective of promoting international peace and security and working together towards achieving economic progress, prosperity and sustainable development.

They include the following:

Promoting Peace and Comprehensive Security

To strengthen their consultations in the United Nations Human Rights Council and sustain their dialogue on human rights with a view to promoting the universality of human rights.

To organise seminars and exchange best practice on civil-military peace building issues, including on Africa.

To reinforce co-operation in fighting proliferation and in export control.

To intensify contacts in the fight against terrorism including through the operationalisation of co-operation between Europol and India.

To co-operate on regional issues

To join efforts in the international fora in using expertise in global development policy to promote the achievement of the MDGs and aid effectiveness. Promote sustainable development

To implement a bilateral Work Programme on Energy, Clean Development and Climate Change to promote joint activities, research and policy development.

To explore the up-scaling of financing for activities to address climate change and further explore the potential for research and technology co-operation and the options for technology transfer.

To foster co-operation on solar energy with a view to jointly developing a flagship programme in solar energy.

To make substantive and efficient progress for the early conclusion of an ambitious and balanced broad-based trade and investment agreement.

To strengthen the exchange of best practices and co-operation in customs matters, covering areas such as supply chain security and trade facilitation, customs Intellectual Property Rights enforcement, environmental protection, tackling commercial fraud, modernisation of processes, of procedures and of working methods.

To share experience, views, and non-confidential information on competition law policy and enforcement.

To use the EU-India regulatory dialogue on financial services launched in 2006 to make progress on regulatory convergence.

To establish a Working Group on engineering sector including automotive industry; a dialogue on sustainable industrial policy; and the strengthening of co-operation on the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector.

To develop business-to-business and research co-operation with the help of the future European Business and Technology Centre (EBTC).

To extend the current dialogue on agriculture to address agricultural productivity, including new technologies, input use efficiency, and improved selection of seeds and crops.

To enhance technical and regulatory co-operation in the field of civil aviation, spanning such areas as aviation safety, aviation security, environment, air traffic management, economic regulation and business issues.

To further co-operate in the field of decent work.

To increase exchanges in the fields of sustainable extension of social protection, social dialogue, equal opportunities and gender equality.

To launch a joint study on decent work covering priority areas relating to global employment, social cohesion, and sustainable development.

To conduct a dialogue on issues relevant to co-operation with third countries. PROMOTING RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY

To co-operate in civil nuclear research and development in a manner consistent with their international obligations.

To enhance co-operation in the framework of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) Agreement and through the conclusion of a bilateral agreement between Euratom and India in the field of fusion energy research.

To create links and to increase exchanges between both sides' statistical services to foster co-ordination in statistical methodology and research on social and economic data.

To undertake collaborative research and capacity building in new fields of science and technology, which will be determined by the Steering Committee of the EC-India S and T agreement.

To strengthen dialogue between the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the Department of Space (DOS), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the European Commission.

To explore co-operation in the field of Pharmaceutical Education and Research.

PROMOTING PEOPLE-TO-PEOLE AND CULTURAL EXCHANGES

To strengthen dialogue between the two Parliaments.

To continue the promotion of civil society exchanges and interaction through the reinforcement of the mandate of the EU-India Civil Society Roundtable in order to ensure greater involvement of economic and social partners, especially trade unions, farmers, consumers and business associations.

To improve co-operation and foster greater linkages between European and Indian higher education institutions.

To promote the development of European Union Study Centres in India and Modern Indian Study Centres in the EU.

To increase exchanges of students and academics, inter alia, by offering masters and doctoral-level scholarships and a wide range of opportunities for academic co-operation through the second phase of EU's Erasmus Mundus External Co-operation Window.

To explore the possibility to train teachers in view of the setting up of a large number of national level educational institutions and central universities in the Eleventh Five-Year Plan in India.

To disseminate tools and good practices regarding transparency, transferability and mutual recognition of qualifications.

To promote modernization of higher education and vocational training in the EU and in India with an emphasis on quality, openness, transparency and partnerships between academic and business communities to enhance innovation and employment.

The EU and India take note of the work carried out by the International Center for Promotion of Enterprises (ICPE) within the UN framework to promote cooperation in areas of entrepreneurship and SME development, corporate governance, trade and knowledge-based society through research and consultancy.

To engage further in intercultural dialogue building up on cultural diversity and multilingualism.

To enhance cultural co-operation, in particular within the context of the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

To promote the conservation and management of monuments and sites.

To launch a dialogue in order to exchange information and expertise in the areas of education, training, culture and multilingualism.

To use the EC indicative budget of 470 million dollars for India for the period 2007-2013 in support of the health and education programmes of the Government of India and for the implementation of the Action Plan's initiatives. By Naveen Kapoor

ANI

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