INDIA and the 15-member European Union (EU) have enjoyed exceptionally robust relations, even though in recent years, occasional irritants in economic relations did surface, to their mutual discomfiture.
Almost one year after the previous team of 20 Commissioners resigned en masse in disgrace, following an adverse report, the new European Commission has quite an agenda.
The EU is on the brink of inking far-reaching changes in its rules to accommodate a widening membership. India, too, in recent years, has shifted silently from a single-party governance to a coalition in power-sharing, which is throwing up new challenges in economic management.
It is against these exciting changes and defining moments in the development of the EU and India that Mr. Pascal Lamy, Member, European Commission, with responsibility for trade, begins his official tour to India.
Mr. Lamy's visit is aimed at the EU's efforts to identify common ground to relaunch the WTO negotiations stalled at Seattle in December 1999.
Though the visit seems to be focussed on roping in New Delhi's concurrence for the launch of a fresh initiative to keep the trade talks going under the WTO aegis, for what is widely known as a comprehensive round, India is …