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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
Photo: MSF

Position paper – EU-India trade negotiations
ACEA welcomes the relaunch of negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) with India. Likewise, the opening of negotiations for an investment protection agreement is a positive step towards the EU’s objective of strengthening its relationship with India.
Development opportunities or challenges
Looking at the proposed Free Trade Agreement between India and the European Union.
Germany’s Scholz committed for Free Trade deal between India, EU
The EU and India revived negotiations to forge a free trade agreement last year with the aim of completing talks by the end of 2023.
EU seeks currency convertibility from India
The European Union has suggested that India liberalize its capital account restrictions as part of a comprehensive free trade agreement being discussed with New Delhi, according to the text of the latest negotiations.
EU-India trade deal: Business as usual?
The EU-India trade deal is a neoliberal deal, entrenched in the idea that more trade between the two markets will bring significant benefits. Benefits there will be, for Indian and European multinationals but people and the planet will significantly lose from this deal.
India, EU set up new working groups for better cooperation
India and the EU have set three working groups under the India-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC). The TTC will deepen strategic engagement on trade and technology between the two partners.
Climate, labour remain knotty issues in EU FTA
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
India-EU FTA: EU seeks ambitious commitments in government procurement, India resists
New Delhi unwilling to show flexibility in elements such as non-discrimination, dispute settlement.
India to seek easing of EU steel quotas, tarrifs in trade talks
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.
EU-India free trade deal will undermine India’s development
Ongoing FTA negotiations will adversely impact farmers, fishers, patients, traders and impinge on a progressive digital industrialisation strategy.