Right to food impact assessment of the EU-India trade agreement

The European Union (EU) and the Government of India are currently negotiating a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that aims to liberalise 'substantially all trade' between the two trading blocks on a reciprocal basis. Beyond trade in goods, the FTA will contain chapters on services, investment, public procurement, intellectual property rights and other areas. In all these areas, commitments are likely to go far beyond current commitments agreed on within the WTO. Officially, the EU Commission and the Government of India are aiming to conclude the agreement by February 2012 . In these negotiations the European Commission (EC) is insisting on the principle of 'reciprocity', and seeking to avoid asymmetries in the level of commitments between the two parties. This logic of reciprocity has been criticised by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), given the great imbalances between the EU and India regarding economic development, wealth, poverty and hunger.