Since the 1960s, relations between the EU and India have developed rapidly. Nowadays, EU–India relations have a strong institutional architecture, including regular summits (political and commercial), meetings of ministers and senior officials and so on. Within this institutional framework, the EU and India have launched a comprehensive and fruitful cooperation. There is much active political collaboration, such as in the reform of the United Nations and the fight against terrorism, based on common values. Trade and investment between the EU and India are experiencing strong growth but lack symmetry.
What are the reasons behind the EU’s drive to advance relations with India so quickly? This paper identifies a number of factors involved. It examines the EU’s drive to deepen its ties with potential economic powers, enhance its influence on the international community in general and avoid an overly dependent trade relationship with China. It then assesses the potential impact of the EU’s efforts for forging stronger relations with India from the perspectives of the EU and India, as well as the side effects for the EU’s important trade partner, China.