Earlier today (26 June), reports suggested that a free trade agreement between the European Union and India is no more than six months away. Here, thanks to EU news resource EurActiv, is a look at the path the two sides have been on to get this close.

  • Diplomatic relations between the EU and India were established in the early-1960s. But, it was 1994’s ‘Cooperation Agreement’ – still the current legal framework for cooperation – that opened the door to the broad political dialogue that has since evolved, notably through annual summits since 2000, and regular ministerial and expert-level meetings.
  • In recognition of both sides’ political and economic importance, the ‘EU-India Strategic Partnership’ was launched in 2004 to enable the two partners to better address complex international issues in the context of globalisation.
  • To underpin the Strategic Partnership, leaders adopted the ‘EU-India Joint Action Plan’ (JAP) at their 2005 summit. The JAP defined common objectives and proposed a  range of supporting activities in the areas of political, economic and development cooperation.
  • In recent years, the establishment of a Free Trade Agreement between the two partners has gained momentum and a deal was expected in the spring of 2011, but disagreements have marred talks’ progress.

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