[Ip-health] News: Hindu Business Line- India-EU trade talks 'shrouded in secrecy'

Terri - Louise Beswick Terri at haiweb.org
Mon Sep 6 03:48:06 PDT 2010

India-EU trade talks 'shrouded in secrecy'


Our Bureau


New Delhi, Sept. 2


A joint report by Belgium-based NGO 'Corporate Europe Observatory' and
India-based NGO 'India FDI Watch' has said that the ongoing
India-European Union Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations are
"shrouded in secrecy" with the concerns of public interest groups
largely ignored.


"It is a paradox that the 'two largest democracies in the world' are
locked in FTA negotiations behind closed doors, which will impact upon
on all aspects of people's lives. Until today, no negotiation text or
position has been made available to the Indian public, the Parliament or
state governments for public scrutiny," said the report released on
Wednesday simultaneously in Brussels and Delhi. The 43-page report
titled 'Trade Invaders - How big business is driving the EU-India free
trade negotiations' said that in the absence of transparency, labour
unions, civil society organisations, representatives of the informal
sector, dalit and adivasi groups, fishermen and women, farmers' and
women's networks have had little chance to understand the implications
of the negotiations or to fight for their interests.


It alleged that whenever Parliamentarians or members of State
governments have questioned the Indian Government on the content of the
FTA, they have been deflected with superficial information.


The report also claimed that civil society groups in Europe have called
for an immediate halt to the negotiations until all negotiating texts
and positions are made public and comprehensive impact assessments and
meaningful, broad consultations with the most affected groups in Europe
and India have taken place.



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