India and European Union: Perceptions, Narratives and Prospects


India has a multi-dimensional relationship with the European Union (EU), its largest buying and selling companion, a significant supply of international direct funding (FDI), an necessary supply of know-how, and residential to a big Indian diaspora. India not regards the EU as a mere buying and selling block, however as an more and more necessary political motion world politics with a rising profile and presence. After independence, the Authorities of India took a eager curiosity within the Widespread Market from the second it was first shaped, largely due to commerce issues although there was meagre commerce with the West Europe international locations until 1957. Indian efforts to ascertain a brand new; post-colonial relationship with the European Financial Group(EEC) proved a difficult process since other than the ‘related’ abroad international locations and territories of the Member States, the Treaty of Rome contained no references to the remaining, of the Third World.

British Utility for EEC Membership

Indian worries about eventual British membership of the EEC have been two-fold. First, Indian exports of manufactured items and first merchandise like tea have been prone to be displaced by “European merchandise in addition to ‘affiliate’ territories in Britain-India’s key market. Second, the query of British entry additionally got here within the midst of an acute international alternate disaster and big commerce deficits, which needed to be financed by large-scale withdrawals from the international alternate reserves amassed throughout the Second World Conflict international help.

India’s coverage in the direction of the EEC throughout Nehru’s period (1947-1964)

It was within the broader context of North-South relations. It was primarily primarily based on political priorities, which due to French insistence targeted primarily of Francophone’ international locations. Nehru was additionally apprehensive that if the Widespread Market grew to become an inward-looking regional grouping and remodeled itself right into a wealthy man’s membership, the hole between the developed and creating international locations would change into wider. At no level of time did India severely take into account the prospect of searching for affiliate membership of the European Group. Six founder international locations too have been unwilling to supply affiliation in any kind to South Asian Commonwealth international locations due to the existence of low-wage highly effective manufacturing industries.

Securing Market Entry, 1963-1973

For a decade (1963-73), Indian efforts targeted on securing higher market entry for India’s main exports and alleviation of its power commerce deficit with the EEC, which was the biggest it had amongst all its buying and selling companions. This was handled on a product- by-product foundation by the conclusion of annual agreements in entire or in a part of the customs obligation. Although the EEC launched the Common System of Preferences (GSP) in 1971, India felt that ‘the GSP was not structured to resolve the precise issues created for India by its lack of preferential entry to the British market. Lots of India’s primary exports together with jute, coir, cotton textiles, and tobacco, have been both excluded from the scheme or else subjected to particular preparations.

Industrial Cooperation Agreements

Beneath the Joint Declaration of Intent, annexes to the UK’s’ Treaty of Accession (1973), the EEC agreed to look at with the Asian Commonwealth international locations ‘such issues as could come up within the subject of commerce With a view to hunt and acceptable options. India was perceived as ‘Britain’s child’ and it was as much as the British to motion its favour.

The five-year non-preferential Industrial Cooperation Settlement (CCA) that India finally signed in 1973 contained no new tariff concessions, however offered each a spotlight and a contractual foundation for India-EEC relations. Nonetheless, aware improvement of commerce alternatives for India continued to be assigned solely a low precedence. India took the initiative in 1978 and sought to broaden the scope of the 1973 settlement by the conclusion of a brand new nonpreferential financial and industrial settlement in 1981, which expanded cooperation to extra sectors.

The 1990s

India accorded better precedence to the West as a market; supply of know-how and FDI and have become progressively extra attention-grabbing due to its coverage of liberalization and financial reforms (1991), acquisition of nuclear weapons in 1990s and steadily, bettering relations with the US.

Broad-ranging ‘third-generation settlement on Partnership and Improvement was signed on 20 December 1993 to embody financial, technological and cultural cooperation, improvement and funding. The Joint Assertion on Political Dialogue (1994) sought to realize ‘a better and upgraded relationship’, and expressed the resolve of India and the EU to bolster and intensify their mutual relations within the political, financial, technological and cultural fields. The European Fee pushed for stronger hyperlinks in its Communication on EU-India Enhanced Partnership (1996).

Institutional Structure

The institutional structure between India and the EU is now fairly multilayered. Other than the Joint Fee and Sub-commissions, different institutional mechanisms embrace troika ministerial conferences Senior Officers Conferences, conferences between the European Fee and Indian planners, bilateral conferences within the margins of multilateral boards, working teams of specialists (on topics like export controls, terrorism consultants and consular affairs), the India- EU Spherical Desk, the India-EU Vitality Panel and its working teams, macro- financial dialogue on monetary co-operation, a dialogue on human rights, and a science and know-how steering committee.

Annual summits have taken place yearly since 2000. Parliamentary exchanges started with the organising of a South Asia Delegation within the European Parliament. A separate India Delegation was established in September 2009 and The Indian parliament additionally arrange a 22 member Parliamentary Friendship Group with the European Parliament in June 2008 to replicate the strategic partnership. Since 2007, a brand new format for dialogue and interplay was created when India grew to become a member of the 45-member Asia-Europe Assembly (ASEM).

Leave a Comment

Share via
Copy link