The EU-India Free Trade Agreement

What MEPs need to know
24 August 2009
Article
Negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) between the EU and India could pose serious threats to India’s development and to efforts to redress poverty and inequality.

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Negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) between the EU and India began in 2007, with the intention of reaching a comprehensive deal to liberalise trade in goods, services, investment and government procurement, to enforce intellectual property protection, and to establish new rules in other trade-related areas.

The FTA is intended to go much beyond what has been agreed in the World Trade Organisation – and would have far-reaching impacts upon industries, jobs and livelihoods, access to services, and the availability of affordable medicines and other technologies.

After several rounds of negotiations, the two parties appear to be far from agreement – differing over what, how far and how fast to liberalise.

The talks have been marked by a lack of transparency, with no negotiating positions or texts yet released by either party for public scrutiny.

There is increasing opposition from Indian and European civil society to the continued pursuit of this FTA which, evidence suggests, would pose serious threats to India’s development and to efforts to redress poverty and inequality.