This closed door event on EU-India relations aimed to stimulate discussion among a diverse, senior group of invited participants.
Following a virtual summit between India and all EU member states, in May 2021 India and the EU formally agreed to relaunch stalled negotiations on trade, geographic indications (GI) and investment protection. Success of these negotiations will be determined by a range of factors: technical; domestic political compulsions; and shifts in global power relations. Building upon an earlier (public) dialogue in December 2020, the present workshop aims to deepen understanding of the political economy of the forces driving each of the parties in the negotiations. Legacy sources of friction have included market access issues in selected products on both sides (automotive; agriculture; dairy; wine) as well as restraints on services trade (visas; recognition agreements). Labour protection, human rights and environmental standards have gained greater salience in EU trade and investment agreements, while India has undertaken a wholesale review of the provisions of its bilateral investment treaties in order to ensure sovereignty prevails in case of dispute. Newer issues include protocols for digital trade and the prospect of introduction of carbon border adjustment measures by the EU for products sourced from exporters who do not have effective domestic mechanisms for carbon pricing.