Home » Meloni and Modi: Key players in the EU-India free trade agreement

Meloni and Modi: Key players in the EU-India free trade agreement

Italian PM is seen as a crucial ally by her Indian counterpart. Amidst political challenges faced by other leaders, Meloni's stability and strong position in the EU offer Modi a reliable partner to accelerate the negotiation between Brussels and New Delhi

Modi’s strategic move. One of the reasons why Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi quickly took the oath after securing his third term in the recent elections was to attend the G7 summit in Italy as the current leader.

  • The Italian government wanted to internationalize the leaders’ summit in Borgo Egnazia, Apulia, by inviting countries from the Indo-Pacific to the Gulf. Modi understood the importance of being present at the summit.

India’s global ambition. As the Indian PM, he needs to project an image of stability and consistency through his international actions, despite a recent decrease in support from voters. In his third term, he plans to maintain the same foreign policy approach as in his previous terms to continue positioning India as a significant player in the emerging multipolar global system.

  • This strategy is also driven by the need to counter China’s increasing aggression and reduce dependencies on Russia, particularly in the arms and energy sectors.
  • Ultimately, India aims to actively reshape globalization, focusing on economic strategies such as de-risking and friend-shoring.

Italy’s role… in this context is significant. At the G7 summit, Modi encounters leaders facing their own challenges.

  • France may soon have an opposition parliament following President Emmanuel Macron’s defeat in the recent election. Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been weakened by the rise of the far-right AfD. In the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak is facing a challenging snap election in the upcoming weeks that may result in Labour’s Keir Starmer succeeding him as Prime Minister. United States President Joe Biden must navigate the influence of former President Donald Trump to secure another term. Both Japan and Canada are currently dealing with significant internal political issues.
  • Amidst all this, Giorgia Meloni stands out as a stable leader in Italy, with the potential to serve another three years in office and be reelected for another 5-year term. Modi sees Italy as a key partner, especially given Meloni’s strong position in the European Union.

Essential trade alliance. This stability is crucial for advancing the long-discussed free trade agreement between the EU and India. Modi’s relationship with Meloni could accelerate this process, benefiting the EU’s risk-reduction efforts and India’s economic goals for the next five years.

  • The free trade agreement is of particular interest to Italy. With Macron, previously India’s primary European contact, nearing the end of his presidency, Modi is seeking stable international allies. Italy’s current government provides this stability, essential for projects like the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor.
  • The free trade agreement between India and the EU is a tangible step towards making this strategic corridor effective, with Meloni playing a crucial role in its realization.

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