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Presentation and competencies

Relations between the European Union and the Republic India go back to the early 1960s . The first meeting between the European Parliament and the Lok Sabha , the lower chamber of the Indian Parliament, took place in 1981 and parliamentary exchanges between the EP and India have been institutionalised for several years under the EP Delegation for Relations with the Countries of South Asia and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).The last visit by the SAARC Delegation to India took place in April 2006 when the Delegation visited New Delhi and the state of Punjab. Reflecting the growing importance of India to the EU and answering to a long-standing request from the Indian side, the EP established on 12 April 2007 a Delegation for Relations with India, distinct from the SAARC Delegation. The objective of the new delegation is to enhance political, economic and cultural relations with this new strategic partner with a particular emphasis on parliamentary diplomacy. Over recent years, both the EU and India have indeed changed beyond recognition. They have entered in 2004 into a strategic partnership, a significant move which is proof of the global significance of both sides. The Strategic Partnership is implemented through the EU-India Joint Action Plan adopted in 2005 which specifically refers to the development of Parliamentary Exchanges. The fist visit to India of a Working group of the Delegation took place in December 2007.