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
Former European Union trade commissioner Peter Mandelson has said that efforts should be made to implement the EU-India free trade agreement this year as it could help the two sides in overcoming challenges in a post-crisis world.
The government has sought help from Spain to conclude a comprehensive trade and investment pact with the European Union by the end of next year, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said today.
A group of Indian trade unionists, farmers, fishworkers and intelligentsia have criticised the secret negotiation which are underway between India and the European Union to strike a free trade agreement (FTA). They have demanded a halt to the ongoing negotiations till transparency is achieved in the process.
There is an outcry over the proposed India-EU free trade agreement, the contents of which are being ‘secretly’ negotiated by the two governments. Last week, an outfit called Forum on FTAs—a coalition of over 75 organisations including trade unions, farmer and fishermen groups and other civil society organisations—demanded that the talks be halted immediately.
Indian organizations representing NGOs, farmers groups, trade unions, health groups and peoples’ movements are calling for an immediate halt to negotiations between India and the European Union on a far reaching Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that will have an adverse impact on livelihoods, food security and access to healthcare.
The European Parliament’s International Trade Committee is to visit India shortly to discuss the progress of ongoing negotiations between the European Union and India on a free trade agreement
"Increasingly we hear about proposals in the EU for levy of carbon tax on imports into EU, ban on imports on allegations of labour law violations and use of child labour etc. Any effort to combine trade with other social issues would prove to be disastrous for bilateral trade" says India’s commerce minister about the EU-India FTA.
As the two day (29-30 September, 2008) EU-India summit begins at Marseilles in France, civil society groups from across India demand a complete halt of the ongoing EU-India FTA negotiations.
A proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and the EU poses a real threat to millions of small businesses, workers and farmers, according to a report published today by Traidcraft.
The CPI(M) today asked the government not to make any commitment on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) at the Monday’s India-European Union Summit in Marseille before discussing the issue in Parliament.