India’s increasing global importance is uncontested, and it is clear that the significance of India-EU relations extends far beyond potential trade benefits. Both parties have an interest in stepping up as leading actors in the fight against climate change, as partners in sustainable connectivity, and in countering unconventional security threats.

Intensified cooperation in these new fields marks a broader shift from a trade-based relationship towards one driven by mutual geopolitical interest.

As the precedent of the trade negotiations suggests, cooperation in these fields may run into obstacles at a more detailed level, or because of underlying differences or the prioritization of trade and investment relations with China.

For Finland, stalling trade negotiations may continue to create disincentives for local export companies and investors. Nevertheless, the focus on sectors such as climate change and connectivity is complementary to Finnish core interests such as energy, infrastructure and high-tech, crucial fields for climate mitigation, transportation, and digitalization

Bart Gaens
Project Director - CUSPP
Emma Hakala
Visiting Senior Fellow