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
Several knotty issues related to labour, environment and sustainability that have emerged in negotiations between India and the European Union on a free trade agreement will require political guidance for further progress
New Delhi unwilling to show flexibility in elements such as non-discrimination, dispute settlement.
India will seek an easing of European Union steel import quotas and tarrifs in talks for a new trade deal as Indian steelmakers struggle to sell the alloy in one of world’s big markets, a senior government official said.
Ongoing FTA negotiations will adversely impact farmers, fishers, patients, traders and impinge on a progressive digital industrialisation strategy.
Market access for key items, government procurement, IPR, digital trade, data secure status, labour, environment to be areas of focus
India and the European Commission are eager to "expedite" the dialogue for the Free Trade Agreement.
Indian and European Union negotiators working on a free trade agreement are seeking to forge convergence on complex issues such as digital trade, data protection and sustainable development.
EU Parliament states it welcomes the restart of talks on a trade agreement with India, and should happen only as long as European values and standards, including rule of law, democracy, as well as human, women’s and labour rights, are respected.
India and the European Union resumed negotiations, after a gap of over eight years, for a comprehensive free trade agreement.
While India and EU have set the ambition to conclude a comprehensive agreement, it must be acknowledged that there are fundamental differences in the design, or the template of the trade agreements signed by India and the EU so far.