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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

Le stand de l’UE à la conférence sur le sida "saisi" par des militants défenseurs des génériques
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.
’India and the EU are both committed to universal values’
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:
Europe and India push to seal free-trade deal
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.
India-EU FTA likely by year-end, says Sharma
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.
EU firm on strong IP provision in free trade
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, EU decide to fast track FTA talks
India and the European Union on Tuesday decided to fast track the talks to conclude a Free Trade Agreement within the next few months.
EU India FTA — Free Trade or Re-inventing Colonialism
On the dangers of India’s FTAs with EU
Discuss FTA talks with EU in Parliament: CPM to govt
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.
India may use EU drug suit to turn FTA talks in its favour
By formally declaring their willingness to take the European Union to the World Trade Organization’s dispute settlement court last week, India may be using the looming legal dispute as leverage to control the free trade (FTA) negotiations which have hit a snag on social issues.
Indo-Asean ties key to region’s growth
Close economic cooperation between India and Asean can prove to be a potent force in shaping the economic fortunes of South and South-east Asia over the next decade. Standard & Poor’s believes, however, that recent Indo-Asean increases in trade and investment flows still fall well short of their full potential.