On 29 May a scoping meeting was held in Brussels aiming to come up with an agreement on how to organise a Europe-India Research and Dialogue Network. The meetings was organised by the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI), Friends of Europe and Istituto Affari Internazional. What follows is a short summary of what was discussed and decided during the meeting.
The aim of the Network is to fill the gap between what think-tanks and research institutes produce and actual policy recommendations coming out of both Europe and India, help in identifying and overcoming obstacles in their relations, and to create and opportunity to engage in longer-term research projects following several themes deemed important.
It was agreed that the Network’s guiding objectives should be:
- Long term sustainability as a structured, self-sustaining network
- Effectiveness and relevance of outputs with research, events and forums efficiently linked-up to each other an to policy-maker.
The structure of the network could take the form of a yearly dialogue, with research elaborated upon in the 6-12 months prior to meetings at which it would then be discussed.
Having taken the lead for creating the network, Friends of Europe, UI and Istituto Affari Internazionali will facilitate the Nework for the first three years.
The Network will focus on the production of both research and events/forums, with the emphasis on the former. Research should comprise a minimum of 50% of the work of this Network.
The Network should include at least once yearly research fora to discuss and debate the chosen topics.
The work of the Network could be communicated through a number of initiatives; newsletter, dedicated webpages on the three organizing institutions websites, a database of people working on Europe-India relations and by producing articles. Friends of Europe’s online policy journal Europe´s world would welcome provocative 800-1000 word articles authored by members.
The themes to address should be jointly discussed to agree on important topics and to ensure that, although many issues may be of interest, focus is limited. Themes mus be pertinent to ongoing Europe-India political discussions.
While the aim of the Network is to be sustainable, it is likely that in the first year or two ongoing fundraising will be necessary.
Next steps include, among other things, seeking funding for the creation of a network and a first event, contacting Indian counterparts, plan a Network-meeting to take place late November/early December alongside TIPS forum and compiling, sharing and shortlisting suggested themes.