The Fireworks Are Still Missing

The Fireworks Are Still Missing
Op-Ed Great Indian Dream
Despite initially high expectations, the enhanced relationship between India and the European Union has so far made relatively little impact and has fallen short of its own objectives.
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Most analysts concur that the enhanced relationship between India and the European Union, elevated to the status of a strategic partnership in 2004, has so far made relatively little impact beyond the existing linkages and has fallen short of its own objectives. Though the invocation of Europe and India as “natural partners” has become a semantic staple for annual summit proceedings, the partnership has been likened to “a loveless arranged marriage” — especially when compared to the flowering of the much more passionate and glamorous relationship between India and the United States since the nuclear deal.

From a historic perspective, the match seemed as if it would have a solid foundation. Adding a new dimension to its relationship with Europe, which was still overshadowed by the colonial past, New Delhi established diplomatic relations with the European Economic Community (EEC) as early as 1963. Ten years later, when Britain — India’s most important trading partner at the time — joined the original six EEC members, India’s loss of imperial trade preferences led to its first commercial cooperation agreement with the community. It took both sides another 20 years to sign their first political declaration after the EEC had morphed into an enlarged European Union of then twelve member states. In 2000, India’s raised economic and political profile and the EU’s desire to extend its newly defined political mission beyond the confines of the European continent after the end of the Cold War, brought about the first summit meeting in Lisbon. Successive annual summits heralded the EU-India Strategic Partnership (2004) and a voluminous Joint Action Plan for its implementation (2005).

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In Fact



of the Chinese general public

believe their country should share a global leadership role.


of Indian parliamentarians

have criminal cases pending against them.


charter schools in the United States

are linked to Turkey’s Gülen movement.


thousand tons of chemical weapons

are in North Korea’s possession.


of import tariffs

among Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru have been eliminated.


trillion a year

is unaccounted for in official Chinese income statistics.


of GDP in oil-exporting Arab countries

comes from the mining sector.


of Europeans and Turks

are opposed to intervention in Syria.


of Russian exports to China

are hydrocarbons; machinery accounts for less than 1%.


of undiscovered oil

is in the Arctic.


U.S. government shutdowns

occurred between 1976 and 1996.


of Ukrainians

want an “international economic union” with the EU.


million electric bicycles

are used in Chinese cities.


of the world’s energy supply

is consumed by cities.


of today’s oils

require unconventional extraction techniques.


of the world's population

will reside in cities by 2050.


of Syria’s population

is expected to be displaced by the end of 2013.


of the U.S. economy

is consumed by healthcare.


of Brazilian protesters

learned about a massive rally via Facebook or Twitter.


million cases pending

in India’s judicial system.

1 in 3


now needs urgent assistance.


political parties

contested India’s last national elections.


of Egypt's labor force

works in the private sector.


of oil consumed in the United States

is for the transportation sector.


of Chechnya’s pre-1994 population

has fled to different parts of the world.


of oil consumed in China

was from foreign sources in 2012.


billion in goods and services

traded between the United States and China in 2012.


billion in foreign investment and oil revenue

have been lost by Iran because of its nuclear program.


increase in China’s GDP per capita

between 1972 and today.


billion have been spent

to complete the Bushehr nuclear reactor in Iran.


of Iran’s electricity needs

is all the Bushehr nuclear reactor provides.



were imprisoned in Turkey as of August 2012 according to the OSCE.

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