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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

India, EU to make trade pact offers in February
Even as experts doubt the possibility of a “deep free trade agreement” between India and the European Union (EU), both sides are likely to exchange offers on goods and services by the end of the next month.
India to push for easier norms for exports to EU
India will push for the removal of stringent quality norms for export to the European Union in the bilateral trade and investment agreement that is being worked out now. Restrictions on supplying ayurvedic medicines to the EU countries, extremely low maximum residue limit on products such as spices and registration problems faced by poultry and egg suppliers are high on India’s agenda.
EU wants India to speed up FTA
Expressing doubt over WTO talks making headway in the near future, Austria on Tuesday asked India to speed up free trade agreement with the European Union to enlarge markets for European and Indian business.
Consultations held on India-EU trade pact
Fishermen want 40 varieties in the negative list
Suggestions mooted for items in negative list for Indo-EU FTA
About 40 varieties of fish, cashew kernels and salted and roasted cashew are among the products which should be included in the negative list of items for India-European Union Free Trade Agreement (FTA), a meeting of stakeholders here has suggested.
India must improve IPR enforcement: EU official
India needs to improve its track record for enforcing intellectual property rights without which global small and medium enterprises will not invest in the country, an EU official said on Friday.
Economic growth without social justice: EU-India trade negotiations and their implications for social development and gender justice
This paper attempts to place the EU-India FTA negotiations in their historical and topical context, and questions the coherence between the development aid agenda on the one hand, and the trade and investment agenda on the other.
India heading towards free trade agreement with EU
"This (FTA) will be one of the easier agreements to conclude," India’s commerce minister Kamal Nath said. But European NGOs’ recent campaigns against Indian industries, accusing them of violating human rights and labour laws, are not helping.
Farmers get a shield in India-EU FTA
The free trade agreement (FTA) component of the India-European Union comprehensive economic cooperation agreement (CECA) is likely to exclude nearly 150 farm products to shield Indian farmers from increased competition posed by subsidised goods.
EU, India to make major offers on duty cut
EU sees a new readiness on the part of the Indian side which, for the first time, has put poverty reduction, labour standards and environmental protection under the bilateral trade framework.