India-EU Summit: EU President calls on PM Modi

On December 21, 2019, the EU President called on PM Modi to discuss regarding an early India-EU summit 2020. It is expected that the leaders will discuss on making progress on the issues related to Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA), Europol, counter-terrorism, Euroatom, climate change, etc. The summit is to be held in Brussels.

What is BTIA?

The BTIA is a free trade agreement that was initiated between India and EU in the year 2007. Even after years of negotiations the countries are yet to resolve the deadlock that prevails in and around the issues of fulfilling BTIA.

Obstacles of BTIA

The countries have their own concerns in signing the agreement. India is concerned that it has not been given “data secure” status by the EU. Also, the visa rules of UK have discriminated against Indian technical professionals. In 2016, India cancelled several bilateral agreements signed earlier with the EU claiming that they were outdated.

EU wants India to reduce tax on liquor, automobiles. However, in the interest of promoting domestic automobile industry, India is unable to fulfill the demand. EU also wants India to liberalize legal services and accountancy. It also wants India to sign pacts that will allow investors to avail Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism at the WTO.

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