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PM Modi to visit 3 European countries in first week of May

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit three European countries – Germany, Denmark and France in the first week of May. The visit, Prime Minister Modi’s first overseas visit this year, will see two key bilateral engagements in Germany and France.

But an important part of the visit will take place in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, where the Prime Minister will take part in the 2nd Indian Nordic Summit. Leaders from the 5 Nordic countries – Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland will attend the summit which will focus on clean technologies, climate change, renewable energy etc.

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The first India-North Summit took place in Stockholm, the Swedish capital, in April 2018, a format that brings together India as well as all the countries of the Nordic countries or Northern Europe.

Over the past 2 years, Indian Prime Minister Modi has held virtual summits with 3 Nordic countries – Denmark, Sweden and Finland, which is the highest in a specific region of the world. A similarly formatted meeting also took place with the United States in May 2016 when then-US President Obama held a meeting with the 5 Nordic countries.

A revival of relations between India and Denmark has also been observed. Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen was on a state visit to India in October 2021. It was the first visit by a Head of Government to India after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Interestingly, India and Denmark have a unique green strategic partnership which was established during the virtual summit held in September 2020. The partnership focuses on green technologies and sustainable solutions in sectors like renewable energy.

His visit to Berlin will be within the framework of the Intergovernmental Consultations (IGC) during which he will have face-to-face talks with the new German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for the first time. The Indo-German IGC meets every two years alternately between the two countries. The last IGC was in 2019 in Delhi for which then German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the country. The 6th CIG arrives with a day of more than 2 years due to the covid pandemic.

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The Prime Minister’s visit to France comes immediately after the results of the main presidential elections. France has established itself as a key partner of India in several sectors, from defense to education and the fight against terrorism. The prime minister last visited France in August 2019 at the special invitation of President Macron for the 2019 G-7 summit, where India was one of the “goodwill” partners. Amid the deadly second wave of the Covid pandemic, France has provided 18 oxygen plants to hospitals across India which will meet oxygen needs for 10 years.

The visit to Europe comes even as the continent faces the Russian invasion of Ukraine which has had huge geopolitical consequences and the influx of Ukrainian refugees. This is something that has dominated the global conversation and will naturally be one of the main areas of focus for the talks, especially on the European side.

Ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit, two top European leaders – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen will visit India.

While the British Prime Minister will be visiting India from April 21-22, the EC President will be in the country from April 24-25. President von der Leyen will be the main guest at the Raisina 2022 dialogue. A statement from the European Union Mission in Delhi said: “Russia’s war against Ukraine will also feature in the discussions.