The relations between India and EU has been long-standing benefitting both the members in various sectors. The development and cooperation has been emphasized highly by both the actors wherein funds are provided for various sustainable projects with a focus not only that fruits them instead that benefits the globe. Despite the barriers in the trade relations between them still the negotiations that are happening between EU and its member states with India are trying to overcome such barriers for smooth and healthy relations. India is introverted power focused more inside than outside. Recently, India has started to open up with international dimensions which is upfront and emerging it as an important and strong global actor. The meetings of the leaders of the nations with strong agenda are enthusing the hopes of good prospects in near future, said Dr Cesare Onestini, the Deputy Head of the Delegation of EU to India, addressing the University faculty staff and students after inaugurating the three-day film festival on Friday at Manipal Academy of Higher Education organized by the Department of European Studies.
Delivering a lecture on “How good is the EU at responding to crisis? From Grexit to the refugee challenge”, he said Greece despite its situation, its still there and EU is there too together. Solutions for such issues could not be provided overnight and that is portrayed by many as EU reacts too little and too late. The crisis is more political rather than economic. The Greece crisis did not start in Greece or Europe, it started in America in 2007 after the collapse of Lehman Brothers and that affected Europe because banks were over exposed to the American markets and the situation is the spillover of that. Europe has been stable and growth focused since it united; but the crisis was a sudden hit for which the leaders were unprepared and sudden short-term measures to harness the ill-effects have not been favourable. However, more than austerity measures, fiscal policies would be a long-term solution for such crisis. Though, EU member states relies on ECB and not on NCB; fiscal policies are at the hands of the member states. There are hopes to overcome the crisis and also in such situations the emergency funds will provide temporary relief, he said. The Greece feels that the lenders pressurized on Greece instead of understanding its internal conflicts and issues. However, the lenders doubt the credibility of the Greece as it did not provide the actual scenario of their debts although they had supported with bailouts.
Speaking on refugee challenges, he told that refugee and migration crisis are two different issues though they are dealt as one. Quoting the speech of State of the union 2015: Time for honesty, unity and solidarity delivered by the President of the European Commission - Jean-Claude Juncker “We Europeans should remember well that Europe is a continent where nearly everyone has at one time been a refugee. Our common history is marked by millions of Europeans fleeing from religious or political persecution, from war, dictatorship, or oppression. In spite of our fragility, our self-perceived weaknesses, today it is Europe that is sought as a place of refuge and exile. We can build walls, we can build fences. But imagine for a second it were you, your child in your arms, the world you knew torn apart around you,” with these remarks he emphasized the need of providing asylum for refugees. Geneva Convention has come forward and that lead the refugees flooding to EU and EU has been constantly putting its endeavours to save them. Although EU was not prepared and Syria and Iraq too pushed their citizens unable to control situations at home. This was initially a national issue for the member states but now its EU issue and the High Representative Federica Mogherini is actively travelling and visiting UN and other members and soon we will find out solutions. This is a joint venture and the member states have handed over the sovereignty to EU and Brussels with the help of its members’ competence has initiated the process which needs the supports of citizens though this will take time but still possible, he concluded.
He lauded the unique initiatives of the University and its active engagement with EU and the Delegation and being part of Jean Monnet program as only institute in India. He said that he was surprised by the knowledge update and the research activities that are planned by the Department of European Studies and also the questions were challenging to be responded by the MA European Studies students and he felt optimistic about the growing presence of EU in India. He shared that the Delegation of EU to India feels glad to host the EU Kinoteka 2015 at Manipal Univeristy for the third consecutive year that has successfully attracted many students and staff members across disciplines.
Prof Neeta Inamdar, the Head of the Department of European Studies, thanked Dr Onestini for presenting the facts and statistics along with his unbiased views honestly and expressed that the students had an opportunity to listen to such a resourceful lecture. She continued that the Delegation needs such leaders who are scholarly researchers and able administrators as he remains the key instrument in setting up of the European External Action Service (EEAS), the diplomatic service of the EU. He pursued his higher education in Politics and International and Relations from Bachelors to Doctoral level in Oxford University and that makes him very close to academicians like us and we are grateful indeed to have such people here, she concluded.