The European Union wants to resume negotiations with India on a significant trade agreement.
When EU leaders speak to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, they expect “a breakthrough,” said senior EU diplomats.
Talks on a comprehensive trade deal were halted in 2013 as Brussels and Delhi failed to bridge all kinds of disagreements. But ties between the EU and India have already tightened in recent years, the sources say.
The fact that citizens have, in the meantime, started to think much more negatively about such free trade agreements is not an obstacle.
The forging of ties with India, say the insiders, reflects European appreciation and recognition of the “natural ally” they see in the “greatest democracy in the world”.
But it is also a signal to China, the big neighbour and an essential rival of India and the EU. “China needs to understand that it is not the only player in this part of the world,” said a senior EU source.
The EU also wants to resume human rights talks with India, the sources say.