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EU-India Summit

The 14th EU-India summit took place in New Delhi on 6 October.  2017. Prime Minister Narendra Modi held discussions with Donald Tusk and Jean Claude Juncker. Federica Mogherini also attended the talks with her Indian counterpart, Sushma Swaraj.

The summit with India marked the 55th anniversary since the establishment of EU-India diplomatic relations. But there were no major deliverables as the FTA negotiations which have been in train for several years remain deadlocked. 

Leaders took stock of the implementation of the EU-India ‘agenda for action 2020’ endorsed at last year’s summit and agreed four joint statements. [* see below]

In the area of security, EU and India leaders discussed how to further enhance cooperation on counter-terrorism and maritime security. These are top Indian priorities given the threat from Pakistan militant groups and New Delhi’s concern about China’s maritime ambitions.

/// OP-ED

ASEAN – Still Democratic?

By Ariane Combal-Weiss

In this 50th anniversary year of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), there are increasing concerns about the decline in democracy in the region. In the past year, the EU has repeatedly expressed alarm over the systematic human rights abuses and violations of fundamental freedoms in different ASEAN countries. The European Parliament’s resolution on 3 October, for example, stated that the EP was “deeply concerned at the erosion of democracy and the violations of human and minority rights and continued repression and discrimination in countries of the region.”[1] The declining democracy is also affecting EU policy towards the region. The FTA negotiations with Thailand are on hold while during her visit to ASEAN countries in March, Trade Commissioner Malmström warned that the human rights abuses in the Philippines could threaten the Philippines’ exports to the EU and the negotiations towards a bilateral FTA.[2] Other EU officials and parliamentarians have made similar statements condemning the restriction of civil liberties and fundamental rights in the region,[3] and supporting the ceaseless commitment of human rights activists.[4]There have also been critical voices from within ASEAN. Under the 2012 ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, all ten members pledged to protect human rights and democracy. In September, however, the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) warned about the worrying state of civil liberties and fundamental rights in Southeast Asia.[5]


First Europe v Asia Golf Match

The EU team won a narrow victory over the Asian team by 301-293 points on 22 October at La Tournette golf club.

The photo above shows Ambassador Rodney Pereira of Sri Lanka handing over the trophy to Jim Moran, the EU captain and former Director for Asia in the EEAS.

The format was four ball, better ball, stableford, and all the matches were very close. 

The Asian team included ambassadors and senior diplomats from Samoa, Myanmar, Malaysia,  Vietnam, Indonesia and Korea.

The European team included players from Belgium, Ireland, Denmark, Spain and the UK.

It is planned to repeat the match in 2018.

This week sees the start of the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It promises to be a momentous event confirming China’s leadership for the next five years and setting out policy directions. It is widely expected that Xi Xinping’s le

Invitation- China’s 19th Party Congress

This week sees the start of the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It promises to be a momentous event confirming China’s leadership for the next five years and setting out policy directions. It is widely expected that Xi Jinping’s leadership will be strengthened but who will join him in the ruling Politburo? And in which direction will he steer the country, soon to be the largest economy in the world? Will China become a more liberal or authoritarian society? How will China respond to the mounting security challenges in its neighbourhood, most notably the nuclear ambitions of the DPRK?