The European Union and India launched negotiations on a bilateral free trade and investment agreement in June 2007. However, between the governments, a number of controversies have been plaguing the talks. Delhi wants Brussels to relax its stringent food safety criteria which penalise Indian farm and fishery exports and to make it easier for Indian professionals to work in the EU. Europe is primarily out to win major openings of India’s services sector and broad liberalisation of foreign investment, while India does not want to discuss allowing European firms to compete in India’s government procurement market.
Indian social movements, including fisherfolk and labour unions, people living with HIV/AIDS and other health activists have been mobilizing against the FTA. International actions and campaigns have particularly targeted the proposed intellectual property provisions of the agreement, and the impact of the FTA on access to medicines.
last update: May 2012
Chief negotiators for the proposed India-EU free trade agreement will meet in New Delhi to discuss the way forward for the resumption of the long-stalled talks over it.
India and the European Union (EU) are set to begin talks soon on re-starting stalled negotiations for a free trade pact but New Delhi will not favour pre-conditions, such as prioritising an investment agreement that the 29-member bloc had earlier insisted upon.
India and the European Union failed to fix a date to re-launch negotiations on the proposed bilateral Free Trade Agreement, or a timeline to successfully conclude the talks that “were temporarily put on hold in summer 2013.”
The 14th India-EU Summit aims to deepen the India-EU Strategic Partnership and advance collaboration in priority areas, a Ministry of External Affairs statement said.
Former diplomat says the EU’s insistence on opening up on wine imports from France and automobile imports from Germany have held up the EU-India FTA negotiations.
The EU now wants to negotiate the Bilateral Investment Treaty before it starts negotiating the EU-India BTIA. This poses an impasse because India will not accept one of the clauses which allows EU investors to challenge the government in front of an international tribunal.
Recent events including the ongoing Brexit negotiations and the termination of investment treaties might however have a direct impact on the trade deal and one can expect negotiations to resume in the near future.
As India prepares to resume FTA talks with the EU, a recent landmark decision by the European Court of Justice on investor-state dispute settlement assumes importance.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini likely to strongly push for resumption of talks for the India-EU free trade agreement.
New Delhi wants to re-negotiate all existing investment agreements