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New Delhi, 25 June 2015: Lok Sabha Speaker Smt. Sumitra Mahajan, who is leading  an Indian Parliamentary Delegation comprising MPs from both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, held a meeting with the Delegation for Relations with India of the European Parliament

On the occasion, Smt. Mahajan observed that India and the European Union are important “Strategic Partners”.  While the two sides marked the tenth anniversary of this Strategic Partnership last year, they had also celebrated the Golden Jubilee of their diplomatic ties in 2013.

Dwelling on trade relations, Lok Sabha Speaker said that the EU has long been India’s largest trading partner.  She was happy to note that  the annual bilateral trade in goods and services between the two sides has reached Euro 100 billion last year. The EU is also the largest destination for India’s exports and India’s largest source of imports. Moreover, EU is India’s largest source for both FII and FDI as also for cutting edge technology. She felt that India’s 3 critical Ds – Democracy, Demography and Demand – should provide very significant opportunities for EU investment and technology and partner India in its quest for accelerated development.


          Observing that it is imperative to consolidate  and further intensify engagement between the two traditional partners and the world’s two largest democratic entities, Smt. Mahajan said that India and EU have also had a major interest in issues of global concern in the multilateral fora.  She further said that India and EU are major stakeholders in climate change and that the goal of sustainable development can be best achieved only through nurturing the nature.  Mentioning that traditional and ancient wisdom of India teaches us to take less from the nature and give more to it, Smt. Mahajan quoted the following shloka:

Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah
Sarve Santu Nir-Aamayaah |
Sarve Bhadraanni Pashyantu

Maa Kashcid-Duhkha-Bhaag-Bhavet |
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||   (unquote)


          During the day, Smt. Mahajan also paid homage at Indian Forces Memorial, Ypres.  This memorial was unveiled in a ceremony in March 2011. It is dedicated to the 130,000 troops of the Indian Forces who served in Flanders region during the First World War of 1914-1918. Nearly 9000 members of the Indian Expeditionary Force died as casualties in France and Flanders, not only due to the nature of their injuries in battle but also due to the severe winter weather conditions they were exposed to.