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The European Union is a politico-economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. HQ: Brussels, Belgium. Negotiations for a comprehensive FTA were started in June 2007 and have been sluggish in their progress.

Any doubts?

  1. Profile photo of Sumer Shah Sumer Shah

    Why have India – EU FTA talks been disbanded? Just because of the high duties on automobiles – That’s it?

    1. Profile photo of Devesh Tiwari Devesh Tiwari

      kaafi reason the!! in 2013 main issues were IPR and anti dumping laws ,EU had taken action against cheap agro products of india because agro industry in EU started crying just like our steel industry (against china’s cheap steel)

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Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

From the UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Basics of Solar Power Generation

Mains level: Article shows greater collaboration of India and UK at minor level of University and Villages.


Grant from UK Government

  1. A consortium of 12 Indian and British universities has received a £7 million grant from the U.K. government to build self-sufficient solar-powered buildings in remote Indian villages
  2. This consortium also includes Oxford and Cambridge

Project Sunrise

  1. The grant is part of a new solar project called ‘SUNRISE
  2. This project aimed at developing printed photovoltaic cells and new manufacturing processes which can be used to make solar energy products in India
  3. Another aim of SUNRISE project for India is to provide a real-life example which proves that this technology works and that it is appropriate within communities
  4. The plan is that it will encourage local industries to manufacture affordable prefabricated buildings that can generate, store and release their own power

Vijay Mallya among 57 fugitives India wants UK to send back

  1. Event: meeting between PM Narendra Modi and British PM Theresa May
  2. What: India has asked the UK to return 57 fugitives, including liquor baron Vijay Mallya, and members of some Sikh extremist groups
  3. The list also includes those about whom information is required under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty or Letters Rogatories
  4. The meeting also focused on greater cooperation to counter illegal activities and greater terrorism

Theresa May’s India visit: Key issues expected to be on the agenda

  1. Event: British PM Theresa May arrived in India late Sunday on a 3 day visit that aimed at boosting economic ties
  2. Key issues: She will address an India-UK Technology summit where she will pitch for partnerships between Indian and British companies to implement India’s flagship programmes
  3. For India, the priority is the question of immigration
  4. Britain has announced changes in immigration rules—including higher salary thresholds—that will affect Indian professionals and IT companies
  5. India could press for the extradition of embattled UB group chairman Vijay Mallya
  6. New Delhi could look for a strong statement on terrorism from Britain

India, EFTA to resume FTA talks this week in Geneva II

  1. The proposed pact covers trade in goods and services, market access for investments, protection of intellectual property and public procurement
  2. Issues: EFTA wants India to commit more in IPR. They were also demanding for data exclusivity, which India is completely opposed to
  3. The two way trade between the regions stood at USD 21.5 billion in 2015-16 as against USD 24.5 billion in the previous fiscal
  4. The trade gap is highly in the favour of EFTA group

India, EFTA to resume FTA talks this week in Geneva I

  1. Event: India and the EFTA, a bloc of four European countries will resume the long—stalled negotiations
  2. Purpose: A proposed free trade agreement
  3. The four EFTA members are – Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein
  4. The trade pact talks had started in October 2008

India rekindles bond with Hungary

  1. Event: Highest level visit in decades by a ranking Indian leader to Hungary, by Vice-President Hamid Ansari
  2. Two memoranda of cooperation were signed relating to water management and cooperation between the Indian Council for World Affairs and the Institute of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary
  3. Cooperation in defence industry, agriculture and film making was also initiated
  4. Background: Hungary has extended support to India’s bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group
  5. And in the context of the post-Brexit uncertainties for Indian business and industry in the United Kingdom
  6. The visit is expected to revive ties between the countries. Both countries acknowledged that relations have been neglected recently

India-Croatia economic cooperation

  1. News: Cabinet approved the signing and ratification of an agreement between India and Croatia on economic cooperation
  2. Background: The countries had earlier signed an agreement on trade and economic cooperation in September 1994
  3. Aim: To promote and develop bilateral trade and economic relations
  4. Continuity: Signing of the new agreement between India and Croatia would be a step in continuity as the existing agreement expired in November 2009
  5. Stats: The average bilateral trade growth was 17.44% during the last three years and stood at $205.04 million in 2014-15

SC allows Italian marine to go home

  1. Context: The Supreme Court allowed Italian marine Salvatore Girone to go Italy
  2. He has been allowed to go home on humanitarian basis
  3. Earlier: In September 2014, the court had allowed Mr. Girone’s compatriot to leave for Italy after he suffered a stroke
  4. He will have to return if an international tribunal decides that India has jurisdiction to try the marines for the deaths of two Kerala fishermen
  5. SC had suspended all court proceedings in India during August 2015 after Italy moved the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
  6. Salvatore Girone is charged for killing two Kerala fishermen in 2012

EU had offered India gradual, asymmetric elimination of tariffs

  1. Context: Issue of halted BTIA negotiations between India & EU
  2. EU: Offered India the possibility of asymmetric and gradual elimination of tariffs in the car and car parts and wines and spirits sectors as part of the negotiations on BTIA
  3. Duties: EU exporters face Indian import duties of up to 100% on car and car parts and 150% on wines and spirits
  4. Hurdle: Absence of agreement in these sectors has contributed to lack of progress on BTIA despite last month’s summit level talks between India and the EU

India blames EU for FTA talks delay

  1. Context: European Ambassador’s comment that EU is interested in an ambitious and comprehensive FTA with India
  2. News: Commerce Minister has blamed the EU for delaying talks on the proposed India-EU Free Trade Agreement
  3. In the recent India-EU Summit, both sides welcomed the decision to re-engage in discussion to further the negotiations
  4. BTIA: The EU-India FTA is formally known as EU-India Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement

Learn more about India-EU FTA

  1. It is officially known as broad-based Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement
  2. The talks on the FTA had commenced in 2007 and both the sides had held 16 rounds of negotiations till 2013
  3. India’s import duty on cars are between 60 and 120% as against the EU’s 10% is a big challenge, in order to protect domestic automobile industry
  4. The objective of the tariffs is protection of an infant industry till they can compete with experienced players in that industry

India-EU free trade impasse may end: CII

  1. Context: Efforts to end a deadlock on the proposed EU Free Trade Agreement
  2. News: Confederation of Indian Industry is expecting some forward movement in the FTA negotiations between India and EU
  3. Reason: Indian industry is ready to grant greater market access to European Union firms in areas such as automobiles, wines and spirits
  4. India is looking for same in case garments, automobiles, automobile components and services sector
  5. India’s main demands includes data security status, easier temporary movement of skilled professionals and seamless intra-corporate movement
  6. Data Security Status: It is crucial for India’s IT sector to do more business with the EU firm

EU-India Agenda for Action 2020

  1. Context: The agenda was released after the 13th India-EU Summit at Brussels
  2. Take-aways: India and the EU have agreed to implement a framework to boost European investments in India
  3. To continue talks on concluding a bilateral trade and investment pact
  4. To use existing arrangements to resolve trade irritants

Modi can be a major ally in war against terror: EU lawmakers

  1. Context: Indian PM’s visit to EU headquarters at Brussels for India-EU Summit
  2. News: The European Parliament believes India can be a major ally of the EU in the global war against terror
  3. India has the “first-hand knowledge” of dealing with such issues
  4. India and EU will focus on overlapping interests, including maritime security, terrorism, space and cyber defence

India, EU to discuss trade, ‘sensitive bilateral issues’ at Brussels Summit

  1. News: India EU summit will witness an attempt from both sides to kick start the stalled talks on the Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA)
  2. Context: BTIA is a free trade agreement between India and the European Union
  3. Relevance: It provides an opportunity for leaders to raise more sensitive bilateral issues
  4. Such as the ongoing international arbitration under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in regard to the case of 2 Italian Marines
  5. Summit Agenda: To endorse an EU-India Agenda for Action 2020 which will set strategic priorities for the next 5 yrs
  6. Joint declarations specifically address projects including the ‘Indo-EU Water Partnership’ regarding the Indian govt’s ‘Clean Ganga’ and ‘Clean India’ projects
  7. Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility (CAMM), addressing regular and irregular migration, trafficking, a joint declaration on terrorism

Breakthrough unlikely in India-EU FTA negotiations

  1. What? India and EU are unlikely to make a breakthrough in stalled FTA during PM’s visit to Brussels to attend the 13th India-EU Summit
  2. Why? Both issued cautious statements ahead of summit showing varied expectations

PM to fly to Brussels as planned

  1. News: PM Modi is scheduled to travel to Brussels on his way to the U.S.
  2. Context: Will attend the European Union-India Summit and hold bilateral talks with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel
  3. Summit resume: After a break of 4 yrs, will see the resumption of talks on Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA), as the Free Trade Agreement(FTA) is known
  4. Focus: EU support to India on climate change cooperation, clean water projects and in particular, the Namami Ganga project
  5. Issues on Table: Cooperation on fighting terror and deradicalisation and IS-related security issues
  6. Other Events: Apart from the bilateral meeting and the EU-India summit, Mr. Modi will attend an event organised for the Indian diaspora

Modi to attend summit of EU, India in Brussels

  1. Context: PM Modi will travel to Brussels for the EU-India summit on March 30
  2. Background: Summit is held after a long gap of 4 years due to suspension of talks on the Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA)
  3. Concern: Some obstacles preventing the resumption of the India-EU FTA talks that were suspended in 2013 after 16 rounds of negotiation
  4. What EU wants from India? To substantially bring down the “high” duties on automobiles as a pre-condition for resumption of the FTA negotiations
  5. Why? because, India’s import duty on cars range from 60-120 per cent as against the EU’s 10 per cent

:( We are working on most probable questions. Do check back this section.

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