Call to halt EU-India FTA talks

Indian and European civil society groups call for an immediate halt to the India-EU trade negotiations

If you or your organisation want to sign this letter, please send your endorsement to: barbara[at]

We, signatories to this letter, are deeply concerned that the ongoing negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) between India and the European Union (EU) will fuel poverty, inequality and environmental destruction, and call for an immediate halt to the disastrous trade talks.

On 10 December 2010, the EU-India summit will take place in Brussels. It is supposed to give a political push to the negotiations, which are expected to be concluded in early 2011. The time to act is now. So far, negotiators on both sides of the talks have persistently ignored and sidelined analyses and protests by civil society, pointing out the detrimental impacts of the proposed FTA on people’s livelihoods and on the lack of social, ecological or gender- just economic development. Instead, the negotiating agenda generally reflects big business interests and demands.

Research suggests that just about every aspect of the negotiations, including the liberalisation of trade in goods and services, the extension and strict enforcement of intellectual property rights and the liberalisation of government procurement and investment will destroy people’s livelihoods and undermine their rights. The proposed FTA will also erode government policy space that is essential to manage trade and investment in the interest of pro-development, social and gender-just and environmentally sustainable outcomes.

Our key concerns are:

  • Extension and enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights through provisions that go beyond what is required under World Trade Organisation agreements. TRIPS+ provisions such as data exclusivity, patent extension, and border protection measures would severely affect India’s ability to provide affordable medicines for the treatment of AIDS, malaria and cancer, not only for Indian patients but worldwide; they would contribute to hunger and malnutrition by denying small scale and subsistence farmers’ rights to seeds and sharing of knowledge. This would undermine people’s basic rights to livelihoods, to food and access to healthcare, education and research.
  • Increased market access for European businesses would expose farmers, fisherfolk, street vendors and small businesses to crushing competition and lead to massive job and livelihood losses. In addition, tariff reductions would create a major loss of import duty income for the Indian government, with a potentially higher risk of further cuts in social spending including for education, health and food security.
  • Further liberalisation of investment would incapacitate governments, removing policy tools that protect and build domestic industries; that foster domestic value-addition and shield vulnerable sectors of society specifically in times of crisis. For example, Indian street vendors and small shop owners would be pushed out of the market if European supermarket giants are allowed to enter the Indian retail sector. Liberalising foreign direct investment in land, fisheries and other natural resources will deprive millions of people of access to the resources they depend on for their livelihoods. Provisions on investor protection and on investor-to-state dispute settlement would grant corporations the right to challenge the Indian government and the EU over any regulatory measures that diminishes their returns.
  • Further liberalisation of financial services would have a detrimental effect on lending to socially disadvantaged sectors like small farmers and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), and would lead to a dramatic decline in rural credit and services. Financial sector liberalisation would reduce government policy space to respond to financial crises and would further destabilise the financial system.
  • Opening government procurement markets would undermine the role and scope of the government to advance equity and social justice by boosting domestic production, supporting SMEs and marginalised regions and groups.
  • Seeking reckless access to raw materials, including a ban on export taxes and other export restrictions, would undermine governments' rights to regulate the use of raw materials and natural resources in favour of their people; it would exacerbate ongoing land displacement struggles and undermine people’s rights for their habitats and produce.
  • The lack of transparency, public debate and democratic process surrounding the negotiations and the privileged access granted to business interests must be resolved. Up until now, the trade talks have been conducted behind closed doors, with no negotiating text or position made available to the public. Requests for access to meaningful information by parliamentarians, state governments and civil society in India and the EU have repeatedly been turned down. Instead, business interests have been granted privileged access to policy makers on both sides, allowing them to effectively set the FTA agenda.

Both the EU’s and India's current corporate-driven, export-oriented trade strategies are fundamentally flawed. These strategies prioritise the interests of global capital and profit maximisation over people’s right and livelihoods.


  • The deal must not infringe on the policy space and regulatory capacity of governments to shape economic and social policies that serve the most vulnerable of their people and enable governments to intervene in markets for the public interest.
  • The deal must desist from accelerating de-regulation of the kind that would increase market concentration while undermining access to essential services and public goods.
  • Negotiators must end the privileged access of big business to trade policy-making in India and the EU.
  • Negotiators must ensure transparency, public debate and a democratic process in relation to EU and India trade policy-making. They must release all existing information, including negotiating texts, and conduct broad consultations with the most affected groups in India and Europe such as workers farmers, street vendors, women, dalit, adivasi and people's organisations, including, cooperatives and trade unions.
  • Ensure pro-development alternatives to corporate–driven FTAs that put sustainable livelihoods, food sovereignty, environmental, social and gender justice at the core. Such alternative approaches support sustainable, fair and peaceful relations between the countries and the regions instead of promoting competitiveness and a race-to-the-bottom in terms of working conditions, standards and wages.

Signatories to this letter (as of 6.12.2010):

  1. Action Aid, Bangalore, India

  2. Action Aid International

  3. AEFJN (African Europe Faith and Justice Network), Belgium

  4. Adivasi Aikya Vedika, Andhra Pradesh, India

  5. AIDS Access Foundation, Thailand

  6. Aitec, France

  7. Akriti, Ranchi, India

  8. All India Drug Action Network, India

  9. All Orissa Roadside Vendors Association, Bhuvneshwar, India

  10. Alternative Agriculture Network , Thailand

  11. Anthra, India

  12. Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft, Germany

  13. Arunachal Citizens' rights, Anuracha, India

  14. Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)

  15. Asmita Collective, India

  16. Attac Austria

  17. Attac Denmark

  18. Attac Finland

  19. Attac France

  20. Attac Germany, working group on world trade and WTO, Germany

  21. Attac Liege, Belgium

  22. Attac Spain

  23. Attac Vlaanderen, Belgium

  24. AUR” – The National Association of Human Resources Specialists, Romania

  25. Aware Trust, Tumkur, India

  26. Babaylan DK, the Philippine Women's Network, Denmark

  27. Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Bangladesh

  28. Banulacht, Ireland

  29. Bharatpur Vyapar Mahasangh, Bharatpurhandigarh Vyapar Mandal, Chandigarh, India

  30. Berliner Entwicklungspolitischer Ratschlag (BER), Germany

  31. Bharatiya Krishak Samaj, India

  32. Bhartiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal, Delhi, India

  33. Biodiversity and Community Right Action Thailand, (Biothai), Thailand

  34. BLUE 21 (Berlin Working Group on Environment and Development), Germany

  35. Bokaro Jila Dukandar Sangh, Bokaro, India

  36. Both ENDS, the Netherlands

  37. Campaign for Reform of the World Bank (CRBM), Italy

  38. Cancer Patient Network, Thailand

  39. Caucasus Development Group, Georgia

  40. CECI (Centre for Education, Counseling and Research), Zagreb, Croatia

  41. CECOEDECON, Jaipur, India

  42. Centre for Peace and Development, Mizoram, India

  43. Central America Women's Network (CAWN), UK

  44. Centre for Education and Communication (CEC), India

  45. Centre for Health Policy and Innovation, International

  46. Centre for Trade and Development (Centad), India

  47. Centre National de Coopération au Développement (CNCD), Belgium

  48. Chandigarh Vyapar Mandal, Chandigarh

  49. Chattisgarh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Raipur, India

  50. Chennai Hawker Federation, Chennai, India

  51. Church Development Service (EED), Germany

  52. Colibri e.V., Germany

  53. Comhlámh, Dublin, Ireland

  54. Comite Oscar Romero de Madrid, Spain

  55. Consumers’ Guidance Society, Vijayawada, India

  56. Corporate Europe Observatory, Brussels, Belgium

  57. Corporate Frauds Watch, Vijayawada, India

  58. CIVIDEP, Bangalore, India

  59. CRTD.A, Lebanon

  60. DAWN (Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era)

  61. Deep Welfare, New Delhi, India

  62. Delhi Hawkers Federation, Delhi, India

  63. Delhi Hawkers Welfare Association, Delhi, India

  64. Delhi Network of Positive People (DNP+), India  

  65. Delhi Vegetable Oil Traders Association, Delhi, India

  66. Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh, New Delhi, India

  67. DICE Foundation, Nagaland, India

  68. Diverse Women for Diversity, India

  69. Drug Study Group, Thailand

  70. Drug System Monitoring and Development Program, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

  71. Ecological Alert and Recovery, Thailand

  72. Ecologistas en Acción, Madrid, Spain

  73. Eco Ruralis Association, Romania

  74. ECVC (European Coordination Via Campesina)

  75. EATGs, international

  76. Entally Market Stall Holder Association, Kolkata, India

  77. Environmental Study Center, Shivamogga, India

  78. EU-ASEAN FTA Campaign Network

  79. EQUATIONS, India

  80. Fair, Italy

  81. FDI Watch India, New Delhi, India

  82. Fédération Artisans du Monde - Fair Trade Network, France

  83. Federation of All Orissa Traders Association, Cuttak, India

  84. Federation of Associations of Maharashtra, Mumbai, India

  85. Federation of Madras Merchants & Manufacturers Association, Chennai, India

  86. Federation of Rajasthan Trade and Industry, Jaipur, India

  87. Federation of Sadar Bazar Traders Association, Delhi, India

  88. Federation of South Bengal Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Burdwan, WB, India

  89. Federation of Trader’s Organization (F.T.O.), West Bengal, India

  90. FEDINA, Bangalore, India

  91. FIAN Austria

  92. FIAN Germany

  93. FIAN India

  94. FIAN Sweden

  95. FinnWID, Finland

  96. Focus on the Global South, India

  97. Food & Water Europe

  98. Föreningen Svalorna Indien Bangladesh/The Swallows India Bangladesh, Sweden

  99. Forum for Indigenous People and Action (FIPA), Manipur

  100. Foundation for AIDS Rights, Thailand

  101. Foundation for Consumers, Thailand

  102. Foundation for Research in Science technology and Ecology, India

  103. Foundation for Social Research and Dynamic Action, New Delhi, India

  104. FRAUENSOLIDARITÄT, Vienna, Austria

  105. Friends of Kidney-failure Patients Club, Thailand

  106. FTA Watch, Thailand

  107. GADIP, Sweden

  108. Gender For Social-Economic Development, Georgia

  109. Germanwatch, Germany

  110. Globale Verantwortung; Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Entwicklung und Humanitäre Hilfe, Austria

  111. GRAIN (International)

  112. Green Foundation, India

  113. Haryana Pradesh Hawkers Samiti, Palwal, India

  114. Haryana Vyapar Mandal, Rohtak, India

  115. Hawker Sangram Committee, Kolkata, India

  116. Hazard Centre, New Delhi, India

  117. Health Consumer Protection program, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

  118. Heinrich Böll Foundation India, New Delhi, India

  119. Himachal State Vyapar Mandal, Shimla, India

  120. Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), New Delhi, India

  121. Initiative for Health & Equity in Society, India

  122. INKOTA-Netzwerk, Berlin, Germany

  123. Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policies (IATP)

  124. Intercultural Resources, New Delhi, India

  125. International Federation of Hawker and Urban Poor, Kolkata, India

  126. International Peoples Health Council (South Asia)

  127. International Presentation Association, USA

  128. Jamnagar Vyapari Mahamandal, Jamnagar, India

  129. Janpahal, Delhi, India

  130. Kanpur Udyog Vyapar Mandal, Kanpur, India

  131. KARAT Coalition, Poland

  132. Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, Bangalore, India

  133. Kerala Swathantra Matsyathozhilali Federation, India

  134. Kelara Vyapari Vyavasiyi Ekopana Samiti, Calicut, India

  135. KIDS, Shimoga, India

  136. Kirchliche Arbeitsstelle Südliches Afrika (KASA), Germany

  137. Khudra Vikreta Mahasangh, Patna, India

  138. KULU-Women and Development, Denmark

  139. La Via Campesina South Asia

  140. Maharashtra Jan Jagran Manch, Nagpur, India

  141. Madras Broadway Bustand Small Merchants Association, Chennai, India

  142. Malda Merchants Chamber of Commerce, Malda, WB, India

  143. Manipur Network of Positive People (MNP+), India  

  144. Mekkala Gorella Pempakadharala Sangham,Medak, India

  145. Mhila Brathukuderuvu Sangham, Andhra Pradesh, India

  146. Minchu Ideas, Bangalore, India

  147. MISEREOR, the German Catholic Bishops' Organisation for Development Cooperation, Germany

  148. Monitoring Sustainability of Globalisation (MSN) - Malaysia

  149. National Hawker Federation, Kolkata, India

  150. National Health Federation of Canada

  151. National Justice and Peace Network, UK

  152. Navdanya-Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, India

  153. NOIDA Market Association, Uttar Pradesh, India

  154. Northeast Peoples Alliance, India

  155. North Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Muzzaffarpur, India

  156. Norwegian Trade Campaign, Norway

  157. Observatori DESC - Spain

  158. ÖBV-Via Campesina Austria

  159. One World Action, UK

  160. Oxfam Belgium

  161. Oxfam UK

  162. Pandurang Hegde, Appiko Movement, India

  163. Paschimi Uttar Pradesh Udyog Vyapar Mandal, Dehradoon, India

  164. Pawanputra Rehri-Patri Khomcha Sangh, Delhi, India

  165. Peoples First, Delhi, India

  166. Philipine Misereor Partnership, Inc, Philippines

  167. Philipinenbuero e.V. Im Asienhaus, Germany

  168. Plataforma de Solidaridad con Chiapas de Madrid, Spain

  169. Plataforma rural / Alianzas por un mundo rural vivo, Spain

  170. Poorvanchal Vyapar Mandal, Kolkata, India

  171. Poorvi Delhi Vyapar Bachao Morcha, Delhi, India

  172. PowerShift, Berlin, Germany

  173. Public Interest Research Centre, New Delhi, India

  174. Punjab Pradesh Vyapar Mandal, Amritsar, India

  175. PWESCR (Programme on Women's Economic, Social and Cultural Rights), New Delhi, India

  176. Ranchi Footpath Dookandaar Sangh, Ranchi, India

  177. Raniganj Chamber of Commerce, Raniganj, WB, India

  178. Rashtriya Vyapar Mandal, Lucknow, India

  179. Redi Patri Mahasangh, Gaya, India

  180. Sahar, Delhi, India

  181. Shanti Ranjan Behera, Lively Democracy, Kolkata, India

  182. Shardhanand Oil Traders Association, Delhi, India

  183. Siddhant, West Singhbhum, India

  184. Social Pharmacy Research Unit, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

  185. Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland

  186. STOP IMPUNIDAD, Spain

  187. Swathi Mahila Samsthe, Nanjangudu, India

  188. Tamilnadu Vanigar Sangankalin Peravai, Chennai, India

  189. Terra Nuova, Italy

  190. Timarpur Shopkeepers Association, Delhi, India

  191. Thai Holistic Health Foundation, Thailand

  192. Thai Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, Thailand

  193. Thai NGO Coalition on AIDS, Thailand

  194. Terre des Hommes Deutschland e.V, Germany

  195. The Andhra Pradesh Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Trade, Secunderabad, India

  196. The Rural Pharmacist Foundation, Thailand

  197. The Rural Doctor Foundation, Thailand

  198. The Swallows, Denmark

  199. The West Godavri Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Eluru, AP, India

  200. Third World Network

  201. Tiye International, the Netherlands

  202. Tractors & Agricultural Parts Merchants Welfare Association, New Delhi, India

  203. Traders Federation of Kolkata Municipal Market, Kolkata, India

  204. Trade Justice Movement, UK

  205. Traidcraft Exchange UK

  206. Transnational Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  207. UNI, Bangalore, India

  208. Udaan Trust, Mumbai, India

  209. Udyog Vyapar Mandal, Gaziabad, India

  210. Unión Universal Desarrollo Solidario, Spain

  211. Uttar Pradesh Udyog Vyapar Pratinidhi Mandal, Lucknow, India

  212. Vegetables & Fruits Wholesale Merchants Association, Bangalore, India

  213. Vidarbha Hawkers Welfare Association, Nagpur, India

  214. VIP Market Association, Kolkata, India

  215. War on Want, London , UK

  216. WEED, Berlin, Germany

  217. Weltladen-Dachverband, Germany

  218. West Dinajpur Chamber of Commerce, Dinajpur, WB, India

  219. Working Group on Trade - Forum Environment & Development, Germany

  220. World Development Movement, London, UK

  221. WIDE Austria, Vienna Austria

  222. WIDE network, Brussels, Belgium

  223. World Development Movement, UK

  224. Xarxa de Consum Solidari, Barcelona, Spain

  225. X minus Y Solidarity Fund, the Netherlands

  226. Yakshi, Andhra Pradesh, India

  227. 11.11.11- Coalition of the Flemish North-South Movement, Belgium


Individual endorsements:

  1. Achim Vanaih, TNI India

  2. Ajitha George OMON Mahila Sangathan

  3. Anna Cavazzini, Germany

  4. Anna Ockkina, IGSO, Russia

  5. Anna Ridehalgh, Southampton, UK

  6. Annie Raja, NFIW, India

  7. Aruna Rodrigues, Sunray Harvesters, India

  8. Ashim Roy, General Secretary, New Trade Union Initiative, India

  9. Ashok Bharti, National Confederation of Dalit Organisations, India

  10. Astrid Escrig, Spain

  11. Belinda Funmaner CCCP, Philippines

  12. Bonnie Setiawan, Resistance and Alternatives to Globalisation (RAG), Indonesia

  13. Boris Kagorlitsky, IGSO, Russia

  14. Brita Neuhold, Vienna, Austria

  15. Carlos Ruiz, ATTAC Spain

  16. Charles Hector, NAMM, Malaysia

  17. Cecilia Olivet, TNI, The Netherlands

  18. Christa Wichterich (Dr.), University of Vienna

  19. Dang Linh Tran, Vietnam Times, Vietnam

  20. Dayaamani Barla, AMARM, India

  21. David Preed, BABC

  22. Diego Cardona - Brazil

  23. Dorothea Haerlin, ATTAC Germany

  24. Emma Thanme, health workers

  25. Eva Lachkovics, member of the City Council of Vienna, Austria

  26. Éva Dessewffy, Vienna, Austria

  27. Fachru Noqrian, Institute for global Justice

  28. Franziska Keller, Member of the European Parliament from the Alliance '90/The Greens.

  29. Frederik Landshöft, assistant to the Green party, German Parliament, Germany

  30. Gerard Karlshausen, CNCD/11.11.11.

  31. Greet Goverde, Platform ABC, The Netherlands

  32. Gunasegaran Kandaswamy, Hindu Youth organisation, Malaysia

  33. Hassania Chalbi-Drissi, IGTN-Afrique, Forum Mondial des Alternatives (Afrique du Nord)

  34. H. Mahadeven, Deputy General Secretary, World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), Asia Pacific Region, New Delhi, India

  35. Ho Thuy Linh, Vietnam

  36. Huynh cong, Consultant on development

  37. Indira Rani, Action Aid India

  38. Induk Lee, FKTU, Korea

  39. Ingrid Bischofs, Cologne

  40. James Pochury, Action Aid, India

  41. Jayce Naar, ACP Civil Society Forum

  42. Jayati Ghosh, Professor, Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, JNU, New Delhi, India

  43. Jaybee Garganera, ATM, Philippines

  44. Jean Grossholtz, Emeritus Professor of Women's Studies and Politics, Mount Holyoke College

  45. Jeff Alderson, Oxford, UK

  46. Joe Higgins, Socialist Party MEP for Dublin and member of the GUE/NGL group, member of INTA and on the delegation for relations with South Asia

  47. John Blair-Fish, UK

  48. Joshua Mata, Allinace of progressive Labour, Philippines

  49. Juergen Kraemer, Orientalismus.Info, Germany

  50. Kalyani Menon-Sen, independent researcher and feminist activist, India

  51. Kannikar Kijtinatchakul, FTA watch, Thailand

  52. Letchumanan Aseerpatham, Socialist party of Malaysia

  53. Manisha Choudhury, India

  54. Morgane Retiere, France

  55. Magline, National coastal women’s movement, India

  56. Mariano Gonzalez, Ecologistas en Accion, Spain

  57. Marioe Maderazo

  58. Marzema Kisielewswa, EESC

  59. Melissa Wilson, TNI

  60. Mira Shiva (Dr.), India

  61. Nisha, Gurgaon, India

  62. Pauilna Novo, TNI,

  63. Paul-Emile Dupret, Belgium

  64. Philip Kujur Coordinator BIRSA MMC

  65. Pete Pinlac, Chairperson Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya, Philippines

  66. Peter Waterman (Dr); Institute of Social Studies (Retired); The Hague; The Netherlands

  67. Pham Hai Nam, Vietnam

  68. P.K. Murthy, WFA/FMA, India

  69. Prabir Purkayastha, All India Peoples Science Network, India

  70. Prajeena Karmacharya, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague; The Netherlands

  71. Rahul Goswami, agriculture systems researcher, associate at Centre for Communication and Development Studies, India

  72. Renate Siart, Erzhausen, Germany

  73. Renato B. Magtubo, National Chairperson PM, Philippines

  74. Ritu Dewan (Dr), Professor, Centre for Women's Studies/Gender Economics, Mumbai, India

  75. Ryu Mikyung, KCTU, South Korea

  76. Salome Yesudas, India

  77. Sisaliao Svengsuksa, Laos

  78. Song Sokheng, community peace building network, Cambodia

  79. Spencer J. Pack, Professor of Economics; Connecticut College

  80. Subodh Raj Pyakhel, INSEC, Nepal

  81. Surender Tirkey Gen Sec JMACC

  82. Tianle Chang, IATP, China

  83. Thi Chung Than, CSEED, Vietnam

  84. Thilo Hoppe, MdB (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) - Sprecher für Welternährung

  85. Thomas Lines, independent consultant, Brighton , UK

  86. Thorsten Schulz, FDCL e.V., Berlin, Germany

  87. Tony Salvador, Ideals, Philipines

  88. Ute Koczy, MdB (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) - Sprecherin für Entwicklungspolitik

  89. Uwe Hoering, journalist, Germany

  90. Uwe Kekeritz, MdB (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) - Sprecher für Gesundheit in Entwicklungsländern

  91. Vandana Shiva (Dr.), India

  92. Varsha Rajan, Focus on the Global South, India

  93. Wim Vandevelde, Chair European Community Advisory Board (ECAB), Brussels Belgium

  94. Xavier Dias Editor Khan Kaneej aur ADHIKAR

  95. Zhang Tan, Lin Xiyao, Beijing NGO, China

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