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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

EU-India’s free trade deal is still in the talking stage
Two years after the European Union and India began negotiating a Free Trade Agreement that has enemies in both places, the talks are continuing with the hope of concluding by the end of the year, but not in time for the EU-India Summit in New Delhi on Nov. 6.
EU favours FTA with India
“Real negotiations between the two sides have not started yet,” says the head of the delegation of the European Commission in India
EU wants pact to include govt procurement
Ahead of the next round of talks on a bilateral trade treaty with India, the European Union today said it was keen that the comprehensive pact included government procurement agreement, which India has resisted so far.
EU seeks to settle trade row with India amicably
The European Union on Friday said it would prefer to resolve two commercial disputes with India without engaging in a legal battle at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The first dispute involves seizure of Indian generic drugs in transit at some EU-based ports, including Amsterdam, which were bound for certain third world countries, on the grounds of patents infringement.
India-EU FTA suffers the ennui of vested interests
Even the most optimistic amongst those involved in the process admit the talks to be in a deadlock that neither side has the political will to break.
EU demands in EU-India FTA could adversely affect access to drugs
The European Union’s demands on India to take on higher intellectual property (IP) standards, if adopted, could spell disaster for the supply of low-cost generic medicines, undermine India’s development and set a significant precedent for the future of IPR protection globally, cautioned Dr Carlos M. Correa, an expert on IP and the WTO TRIPS Agreement.
“India and Eu’s combined strategy for the free-trade pact worsen its position at WTO”
The most affected from the EU-India FTA will be India’s dairy farming sector, where regularly five million women and 15 million men work to meet their daily needs.
Vicious sting in the tail of FTAs
What is slowly emerging is the beginning of a composite oppositition to FTAs in India.
Say cheese to Brussels
A free-trade pact with EU will weaken India’s stance at WTO
The EU-India FTA: Critical considerations in a time of crisis
The paper broadly examines the core trade interests of the EU and India, the content of the negotiations and outlines some key concerns of a potential deal for India in the areas of goods, services and investments, intellectual property rights and government procurement.