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 to hold a fresh series of free-trade talks next month in Brussels in a bid to clinch a deal by the end of the year, an official said.
It appears that the EU has dropped its demands for patent
extensions and may have made data exclusivity subject to compulsory licensing in the EU-India FTA.
Le stand de la Commission européenne à la Conférence internationale sur le sida à Vienne a été "saisi" symboliquement mercredi par des militants pour protester contre des saisies dans l’UE de médicaments génériques destinés à des pays en développement.
The European Union high representative for foreign affairs and security policy and vice-president of the European Commission, Catherine Ashton, is currently visiting India to enhance Indo-EU ties. Ashish Ray asked her a few questions:
European companies are increasing their presence in emerging markets like India in part to offset sluggish domestic growth. That is also true for Spanish companies that have traditionally focused on former Latin American colonies rather than on Asia.
Both multilateral trade negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) like the India-EU (European Union) FTA, need to be speedily concluded in order to aid global recovery from the economic crisis, Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma said on Monday.
A key provision in the draft of the India-European Union (EU) free trade agreement (FTA) may have implications on the affordability of medicines, while also hurting the negotiations between the two trading blocs.
India and the European Union on Tuesday decided to fast track the talks to conclude a Free Trade Agreement within the next few months.
On the dangers of India’s FTAs with EU
Taking exception to “extreme secrecy” in negotiations on the India-EU free-trade agreement, Communist Party of India (Marxist) has asked the Manmohan Singh government to discuss all proposals and drafts in Parliament and with states before taking any further step.