The fourth Indo‑German intergovernmental consultations took place in Berlin on 29 and 30 May. Germany and India want to intensify their strategic partnership, including with regard to cyber policy. In a joint declaration of intent, the two countries specified measures to be implemented in the spheres of cyber foreign policy, IT security and the fight against cybercrime.
Intensifying the strategic partnership
Germany and India have many close ties: Germany is India’s most important trading partner in the EU, the largest German Chamber of Commerce Abroad is located in India, and more than 13,000 Indian men and women are enrolled at German universities. The two countries have maintained a strategic partnership since 2000, and they cooperate closely on issues such as vocational training, sustainable urban development and renewables, as well as in the sphere of science.
To deepen this partnership, the German and Indian Governments have held consultations every two years since 2011. The meetings take place alternately in India and in Germany. This year, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany. Foreign Minister Gabriel also participated in the intergovernmental consultations.
A key partner for cyber policy
One area in which Germany and India cooperate very closely is cyber policy. This is why, at this year’s intergovernmental consultations, Foreign Minister Gabriel and Mobashar Jawed Akbar, Indian Minister of State for External Affairs, signed a joint declaration of intent on continued cooperation in the sphere of cyber foreign policy.
Germany and India wish to jointly enhance IT security as well as cooperate in the fight against cyber crime. Moreover, both countries want to work to ensure respect for human rights, and to maintain peace and security, in cyberspace. In so doing, they are visibly setting an important example for other countries to follow.
Regular consultations on cyber issues
In addition to the joint declaration of intent, the cyber consultations that are held annually between Germany and India are a key component of Indo‑German cooperation. The last consultations took place in New Delhi in November 2016. Ambassador Fitschen, Director for International Cyber Policy at the Federal Foreign Office, has invited the Indian delegation to come to Berlin for the 2017 consultations.