Does India have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with European Union (EU)?

India and the European Union are yet to sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The FTA negotiations reached a deadlock in 2013 after 16 rounds of negotiations. The disruption in FTA talks was mainly due to the infamous case of 2 Italian marines allegedly killing 2 Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala. The crisis reached its nadir when the former Italian Foreign Minister was appointed as E.U’s High Representative for Foreign affairs in 2014. The situation worsened to the point where the scheduled India-EU summit in 2015 did not materialize. The negotiations for FTA resumed in 2018.

Aspirants can find information on the structure and other important details related to the IAS Exam, in the linked article.

India-EU Summit 2021

Key highlights

  • On May 8, the two sides met in their first-ever EU+27 Leaders Meeting format, where the European Commission and Council along with 27 European heads of state were present to meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually.
  • The meeting was held in a hybrid format. 
  • This is the first time that the EU hosted a meeting with India in the EU+27 format.
  • The three key thematic areas:
    • Foreign policy and security; 
    • COVID-19, climate and environment; and 
    • Trade, connectivity and technology. 
  • Pushing Ahead With the 4 Cs
    • COVID-19, 
    • commerce, 
    • connectivity, and 
    • climate 

The key areas discussed between the leaders of EU and India are:

    • Investing in India-EU Strategic Partnership
    • Building global health preparedness and resilience – COVID-19 and beyond
    • Protecting our planet and fostering green growth
    • Fostering inclusive growth through trade, connectivity and technology
    • Striving for a safer, prosperous and more democratic world

UPSC 2021

About India-EU Summit 2020

India-EU summit was scheduled to take place in Brussels, the capital of Belgium, in March 2020. However, due to the humanitarian crisis caused by COVID-19, the summit was postponed. Later, the summit was conducted virtually on July 15, 2020.

Given below are a few important points regarding the India-EU Summit 2020:

  • It was the fifteenth summit between India and the European Union, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had represented India in this virtual summit. On the other hand, the European Union was represented by Mr. Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Ms. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission
  • Strengthening of common principles and values including democracy, freedom, rule of law, and respect for human rights was one of the key topics of discussion between India and EU
  • The leaders agreed on global cooperation and solidarity which is important during the COVID times and essential to protect lives and to mitigate the socio-economic consequences of the pandemic
  • Mutual synergies were shared between the two regarding the capacity and experience for the production of pharmaceuticals and vaccines
  • The leaders welcomed the G20 Action Plan to support the global economy and underlined the need to assist the most vulnerable countries
  • India and the EU will reinforce their cooperation in the International Solar Alliance (ISA) to promote the deployment of solar energy, and in the International Platform on Sustainable Finance (IPSF) to mobilise private capital towards environmentally sustainable investments
  • India and the EU reiterated their commitment to human rights, including gender equality and women empowerment
  • The leaders adopted the “India-EU Strategic Partnership: A Roadmap to 2025” to guide cooperation between India and the EU over the next five years

India and the European Union also agreed for the 16th India-EU Summit which will be held in 2021.

Where is the location of India-EU Summit 2021?

India and the European Union have finalised to meet for the 14th India-EU Summit in Portugal in May 2021. Both sides are keen on discussing the India-EU free trade agreement and this shall be an important objective of the meeting.

What Does India Export to European Union?

As per 2019 data, India’s exports to the European Union stand at 39.6 billion Euros and India’s imports from the European Union is at 38.2 billion Euros. The list of exports from India to the European Union is given below.

  1.  Pharmaceuticals
  2. Gems and Jewellery
  3. Engineering Goods
  4. Manufactured goods and chemicals.

What is FTA (Free Trade Agreement)?

It is an international trade pact signed between nations with the objective of reducing or eliminating trade barriers and encouraging international trade. Such agreements are usually centered on providing preferential tariff agreements.

Multiple Choice Questions

I) Consider the following Statements

  1. European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 40 member states.
  2. European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 27 member states.
  3. The EU and European citizenship were established when the Maastricht Treaty came into force in 1993.
  4. The EU and European citizenship were established when the Maastricht Treaty came into force in 1995.

Which of the following statements are true?

A) Only 2 and 3 are true

B) Only 2 and 4 are true

C) Only 1 and 3 are true

D) Only 3 and 4 are true.

Answer: A

II) Consider the following Statements

  1. European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was an organisation of six European countries created after World War II to regulate their industrial production under a centralised authority.
  2. The ECSC was first proposed by French foreign minister Robert Schumann on 9 May 1950 as a way to prevent further war between France and Germany.
  3. The Merger Treaty, also known as the Treaty of Brussels, was a European treaty that unified the executive institutions of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and the Economic Community (EEC)
  4. Treaty of Amsterdam was signed on 2 October 1997, and entered into force on 1 May 1999; it made substantial changes to the Treaty of Maastricht.

Which of the following statements are true?

A) None of the statements is true

B) Only 2 and 4 are true

C) All the Statements are true

D) Only 1, 2 and 4 are true.

Answer: C

Candidates can find the general pattern of the UPSC Civil Service Exam by visiting the IAS Syllabus page.

Frequently Asked Questions on India-EU Summit

Q 1. Who will host the India-EU Summit 2021?

Ans. India-EU Summit 2021 was hosted by Portugal on May 8, 2021

Q 2. Who had hosted the 15th India-European Union Summit?

Ans. The 15th India-EU Summit was scheduled to take place in Brussels, the capital of Belgium in March 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was rescheduled for July 15, 2020, and was held virtually.

Q 3. Where did the India-EU Summit take place for the first time?

Ans. The first India-EU Summit was held in Lisbon in the year 2000.

India-EU Summit 2021:- Download PDF Here

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