Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held the first-ever India-Luxembourg bilateral summit with his counterpart Xavier Bettel. Besides reviewing bilateral relations, the summit, the first in two decades between the countries, focused on increasing investments. The two Prime Ministers decided to ramp up relations in the financial sector, digital domain, green financing and space applications. They also took stock of the global situation arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Significantly, barely a fortnight back, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla’s first visit out of the South Asian region was a week-long tour of Europe — France, Germany and the UK. After bonding with the US, Japan and Australia, it is evident that India is looking at Europe with a renewed sense of camaraderie.
India and many European nations find themselves on the same side of the fence. While India is negotiating the new geopolitical order, Europe too had its own share of setbacks — the coronavirus pandemic, Brexit, migration issues from West Asia, tumultuous relations with the US, and the aftershocks of the 2008 economic crisis.
Year 2020 has been one of revelations for many a European country — the spread of Covid, technology wars, an unending flow of Chinese sarcasm-laced hostility during Europe’s most vulnerable moment at the height of Covid deaths.