The “Agenda for the Indo-German Partnership in the 21st Century” emphasises “the special significance of contacts between parliamentarians of the two countries”. Over the past decades, more and more Indian and German parliamentarians have established direct contacts with their respective counterparts.
These contacts have grown especially through the German-Indian Friendship Group in the German Bundestag (founded in 1971; chairperson: Josef Winkler, MP), the Indo-German Parliamentary Friendship Group (founded 2003) within the Lok Sabha and the Indo-German Forum of Parliamentarians (founded in 2003; chairperson: E.N.S. Natchiappan, MP) under the auspices of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Since 2003, the exchange has significantly intensified through reciprocal visits of parliamentary delegations.
The president of the German Bundestag, Dr. Norbert Lammert, visited New Delhi and Rajasthan in August 2007. He met, amongst others, the President of India Pratibha Devisingh Patil, and the then speaker of Lok Sabha, Somnath Chatterjee.
A group of Indian parliamentarians travelled to Germany in December 2009, while a delegation of the German-Indian Friendship Group of the Bundestag visited New Delhi and several Indian states in March 2011. Additionally, the respective Heads of State/Government and Ministers are most often accompanied by parliamentarians on their bilateral visits. German Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel, for instance, was accompanied by five members of Parliament on her official visit to India in May 2011.
Thus, a close-knit bilateral network of people’s representatives from the two countries is now in place. German and Indian parliamentarians not only exchange views and best practices on domestic, bilateral and international political issues, but also on economic and social development, science and culture, the legal system, administrative reform, among others.