Gauri Khandekar

directorGauri Khandekar is Deputy Director and Director Europe at Global Relations Forum based in its Brussels office. Prior to Global Relations Forum, Gauri has worked for five years as Head of Asia Programme at Brussels and Madrid based think tank FRIDE.


Gauri has a wide range of professional experience in European and international affairs, having worked at the European Commission’s DG External Relations, the European Parliament, the G20, the United Nations Headquarters in New York, a Brussels based American consultancy (Burson Marsteller) and a Brussels based communications enterprise (Tipik S.A.).


In 2012, Gauri was Resident Handa Research Fellow at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Pacific Forum in Honolulu, USA where she conducted research on the US’s Asia rebalance policy and implications for the EU. She has also worked for three years in a development and social welfare NGO in India. In 2013, Gauri initiated a large-scale development programme in the South of Uganda.


She is a leading expert on EU-India relations with a significant body of research on the EU-India strategic partnership conducted over the past decade. In 2015, Gauri led an EU-India think tanks twinning mission for the EU Delegation to India under its Public Diplomacy Project.


Gauri is the author of three books: Mapping EU Strategic Partnerships (with Giovanni Grevi; FRIDE 2011), Mapping EU-ASEAN Relations (FRIDE2014), India-Belgium Relations (EICC 2014). Her forthcoming books include Japan’s Search for Strategic Security Partnerships (Routledge 2016) and ASEM at Twenty: What next? (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).


Gauri holds two masters degrees in European Studies with distinction from the Institute of Political Sciences in Lille (France), and the College of Europe in Bruges (Belgium), of which Gauri is the first ever and only Indian graduate.


Her research focuses on the spectrum of EU Strategic Partnerships and EU-Asia relations, specialising also on EU-India relations. Her research interests further lie in security and counter-terrorism, energy, institutional developments, democracy and multilateralism.

Charting a Sustainable Future: EU-India Platforms on Energy and Climate Change and Urban Development
By (10/31/2016) Policy Brief

At their thirteenth summit held on 30th March 2016 in Brussels, the EU and India managed to fillip their strategic partnership through the launch of a bilateral platform on energy and climate cooperation, and the promise of an EU-India forum on urban development. These are both welcome initiatives which refocus the partnership onto three areas of global and bilateral significance. However, they must be executed with maximum precision. GRF Deputy Director & Director Europe Gauri Khandekar and FES India Director Marc Saxer weigh in.

India’s View on Human Security: Citizens First, Holistic Urbanisation and Cooperation with the European Union
By (09/27/2016)

This paper explores India’s views on the human security debate and scope for cooperation with the European Union. It makes the case that while India has long been criticised especially in the West for not supporting the notion of human security, this criticism is largely misplaced. In reality the country is arguably making the largest contribution to further global human security. This paper aims to shed light on India’s interpretation and implementation of human security and the country’s approach to human security at the international level. Finally, the paper will recommend how the EU and India could optimally cooperate on the subject.

ASEM at Twenty: More Divided Than Ever
By (07/15/2016) Opinion

As ASEM celebrates it’s twenty year milestone at the biennial summit taking place on 15-16 July 2016 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; Asia and Europe appear more divided than ever. GRF Deputy Director and Director Europe Gauri Khandekar explores the main challenges the now-53 member large grouping faces as it enters its third decade.

Preventing another ‘Paris’ or ‘Mumbai’ style of attacks
By (12/01/2015) Opinion

Following the Paris attacks of Nov 13, Europe has been on edge. Army and armed police presence on the streets is becoming the new normal as European leaders ponder on even more security measures including air strikes in Syria. The social impact of the attacks at home has clearly been high as day to day life has been seriously disrupted and fear amongst the public is growing. European capitals and cities can not expect to have a perpetual armed presence on the streets. Nor can response to this guerrilla style of terrorist attacks clearly be traditional or external.The response to such attacks has to be technological advanced.

Towards an EU-India Partnership on Urbanisation
By Gauri Khandekar (08/15/2015) Policy Brief

More than a decade since the EU-India strategic partnership was launched, there is more pessimism than promise about its future. With bilateral FTA talks at an impasse and minimal cooperation on foreign policy issues, the EU-India strategic partnership is in desperate need of a relaunch. As India strongly pursues its urban development agenda and transformation to a global manufacturing hub, an EU-India Partnership on Urbanisation could prove truly transformative for the strategic partnership. Such a partnership would not only open up significant mutually beneficial opportunities thereby circumventing jammed FTA negotiations, but would also reinstate the strategic quotient in the partnership.