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
India and the European Union are unlikely to ink a free trade pact in the next three to four years, a Belgium-based independent think tank, the European Centre for International Political Economy, has said. Echoing similar views, an MEP said, "It all depends on whether the Indian Parliament gets to pass the Insurance Bill in the Winter Session."
Belgium has demanded greater access to public procurement market for large-scale contracts under the proposed India-EU free trade agreement (FTA), whose fate already hangs in balance. The country also stressed on further tariff reduction on goods by India.
The European Union has blamed India for the delay in conclusion of the free trade agreement being negotiated by the two for the last six years.
The European Union should allow easier entry and movement of Indian professionals in order to generate support for the free trade pact between the two that’s been under negotiation for the last six years, Indian think tank Icrier said in a study commissioned by the 27-country grouping.
India-EU free trade agreement is expected to be a major issue that will come up in the meeting between a high-level delegation of European Parliament’s panel on international trade and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma.
India has a "very good agreement on table" for the European Union on bilateral free trade pact but data security status is all important for the country, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said today.
The government of India is planning another sell out of farmers’ interest at the altar of the proposed India-EU Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement, writes Ashok B Sharma.
Admitting to increased stances of rejection of food consignments by EU in the last three years, India today said it is taking steps to ensure compliance with the European norms.
Unfazed by hiccups in concluding the long-pending free trade agreement with European Union, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today expressed the hope that the pact would be sealed soon.
Although there are serious impacts on food security and the livelihood security of millions of farmers and small retailers, farmers haven’t even been informed nor consulted about the FTA.