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
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.
The timelines for a possible India-Europe bilateral trade and investment agreement are getting tight with both sides supposedly failing to close the deal on some critical issues.
The Indian government has run out of patience and will ask the European Union to sign a free trade deal "within a narrow political window", reports Times of India
In a ruling delivered on 7 June following a lawsuit by lobby watchdog Corporate Europe Observatory, the EU’s General Court in Luxembourg concludes that the European Commission did not violate EU rules when withholding information about the EU-India free trade talks from the public, even though it had already shared the information with corporate lobby groups
Talks between India-EU chief negotiators on FTA today got stuck with the European bloc making clear that the pact cannot proceed unless the insurance sector was further opened up by New Delhi, which expressed its inability to do so without Parliament approval.
NGOS, academics, patient groups, humanitarian organisations, trade unions, farmers groups and mass movements, representing hundreds of organisations and networks across the country, asked Mr. Anand Sharma, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, to explain to the nation which sectors and who exactly are benefiting from the FTA that is currently being negotiated with the European Union.
Leaders of the main opposition parties in India came together recently in New Delhi to voice their opposition to the proposed Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement between India and the European Union