EU-India Think Tanks Twinning Initiative

With the support of the EU Delegation to India, the EU-India Think Tanks Twinning Initiative aims to bring together the brightest minds from the EU and India to develop together ideas on how the two can further strengthen their strategic partnership through cooperation in the fields of foreign and security policy, global governance and international affairs. The Initiative aims to foster interaction between leading Indian and European think tanks through a series of joint projects involving research publications and events. The aim of the Initiative is to bring the vibrant Indian and European think tanks communities together and enable them to help generate better understanding and awareness of the EU in India and vice versa. The goal is also to support a more continued and visible presence of European think tanks in India.

The impact of their joint work would no doubt stimulate debate and discussion on important global, regional and bilateral issues, foster research and academic discourse, and provide policy analysis and informed guidance to leadership on both sides, thus contributing to enriching the EU-India strategic partnership.

The Delegation of the European Union to India launched the ‘EU India Think Tanks Twinning Initiative’ in 2015 which has successfully organized networking and working together of some leading think tanks from India and the EU during 2015-16. This initiative is being taken forward in 2018 and five consortiums of EU-India think tanks have been selected for support during 2018-19. These think tanks are going to be engaged in joint research, publications and events.


In view of the successful experience of networking of EU and Indian think tanks during the previous initiative, the EU Delegation decided to take forward the initiative in 2018 and a Call for Concept Notes to invite Joint Research Projects from Consortiums of EU and Indian think tanks was issued on 22 Dec.  2017. The Call invited consortiums of EU – India think tanks to propose writing of three original research papers interspersed with three workshops to discuss those papers over 2018-19. The Call closed on 15 Feb 2018 and the following five proposals have been selected for support:

  • Clingendael - Netherlands Institute of International Relations with the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi, on “EU & India as continental partners: beyond bilateralism.”
  • Federal Trust UK (in collaboration with the Global Policy Institute, UK) with Jawaharlal Nehru University – Centre for Europe Studies, New Delhi, on “Developing EU and Indian Cooperative Responses to the Belt & Road Initiative.”
  • Chatham House the Royal Institute of International Affairs, UK, in Association with European Union Institute for Security Studies, Brussels, with Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi, on “The Indian Ocean: Opportunities for EU - India engagement.”
  • Global Public Policy Institute, Berlin, with Carnegie India, New Delhi, on “Charting EU-India Cooperation on Connectivity.”
  • Centre for International Relations, Warsaw, with Department of Geopolitics and International Relations, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, on “Cooperation between EU and India on China/ One Belt One Road Initiative - EU and Indian responses.”

Four consortia of think tanks from the EU and India were supported under the EU Public Diplomacy and Outreach in India and in the SAARC project during 2015-16, and they carried out the research work as follows:

  1. ORF, Chatham House and EUISS produced three Background Papers covering West Asia, Maritime Security and Counter Terrorism and Countering Radicalisation. The consortium also held a Workshop and a Public Event in New Delhi in September 2016, as well as a final Public Event in Brussels in November. The public events were attended by a mix of officials, academics and think tank representatives.
  2. GPPi and Carnegie India produced four policy papers charting EU-India cooperation on global governance and security, on Regional Connectivity in Asia, Securing Afghanistan, Global Conflict Management, and Securing the Indian Ocean. The consortium organized two policy dialogues in Brussels and New Delhi respectively, which brought together policy makers, academics and think tankers from Europe and India. Supported by structured facilitation, the participants mapped out challenges and opportunities for EU-India cooperation in selected policy fields. In order to disseminate these findings to a broader audience, the consortium organized a large public event in New Delhi attended by European ambassadors, Ministry of External Affairs, India, think tanks and media. Another public event was organized at Vrije University, Brussels. All four policy papers were also published as an edited monograph.

  3. IAI and Gateway House delivered an Expert Discussion in Mumbai, a Seminar in Rome and a Concluding Presentation in Brussels between November and December. Publications were produced on “EU-India Defence Cooperation: A European Perspective”, “EU-India Cooperation on Cyber Issues: Towards Pragmatic Idealism?”, “EU-India: Starting a More Adventurous Conversation”, “Maritime Security and Freedom of Navigation from the South China Sea and Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean: Potential and Limits of EU-India Cooperation”, “EU-India Cooperation on Space and Security”, “Potential and Challenges of India-EU Space Cooperation”, “Maritime Security and Freedom of Navigation from the South China Sea and Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean”, “India-EU Cooperation on Cyber Security and Data Protection”, and “India-EU Defence Cooperation: The Role of Industry”.
  4. GRF and FES India delivered a Seminar on “EU-India Cooperation on Sustainable Urbanisation” in Pune, India, in September 2016, and produced a Policy Brief on “Charting a Sustainable Future: EU-India Platforms on Energy and Climate Change and Urban Development”, as well as one on “India’s View on Human Security: Citizens First, Holistic Urbanisation and Cooperation with the European Union”.

Public diplomacy project

The EU Public Diplomacy in India through Policy and Outreach Partnerships (EUPOP) has been launched as part of the EU’s efforts to enhance the visibility of the European Union as a whole, to promote a better understanding of EU’s actions and positions and exert a positive influence on how the EU is perceived in partner countries.

The overall objective of the project is supporting the achievement of EU foreign policy objectives by strengthening the EU's ability to engage meaningfully with targeted audiences and stakeholders in India through Public Diplomacy. It should contribute to re-position the EU and its Member States as a reliable, useful and effective partner for India in both bilateral and global issues.

About the European Union (EU)

The EU, which consists of 27 countries, has the world's largest economy and its third largest population, after China and India. Though richly diverse, the countries that make up the EU (its 'Member States') are all committed to the same basic values: peace, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. They have set up common institutions so that decisions on matters of joint interest can be made democratically at European level. By creating a frontier-free single market and a single currency (the euro) which has been adopted by 19 Member States, the EU has given a significant boost to trade and employment. It is also at the forefront of policies on sustainability.

EU-India relations

Over 60 years the EU and India have worked together to reduce poverty, prevent disasters, expand trade, and promote joint research in energy, health, agriculture and many other fields of mutual interest. More information at: www.eeas.europa.eu/delegations/india