This paper has been written in the framework of the EU-India Think Tanks Twinning Initiative 2020-2022 – a public diplomacy project aimed at connecting research institutions in Europe and India funded by the EU.
In July 2020, the leaders of the European Union (EU) and India EU-India Strategic Partnership: Roadmap to 2025 at the 15th EU-India Summit. The two partners emphasized the need to enhance connectivity cooperation between them and in third countries. As the COVID-19 pandemic prompted an acceleration of digitalization within and between countries, a strong focus on digital connectivity in the EU-India strategic partnership is in place.
This paper analyses the state of play and future potential of EU-India cooperation in the domain of digital connectivity. First it considers the effects of the US-China tech contest on economic competition as well as norms and standard-setting in this domain. It will then highlight the common interests that the EU and India have in furthering the human-centred approach that values the privacy of citizens over business or national security interests. Finally, three practical avenues for cooperation will be presented to deepen digital economic ties in the coming years, namely platform fairness, digital human rights and digital Official Development Assistance (ODA).