The European Union and India

The European Union and India

Rhetoric or Meaningful Partnership?

Pascaline Winand, Marika Vicziany and Poonam Datar

This multi-disciplinary book provides a comprehensive analysis of the EU–India relationship from 1950 to the present day, as a way of assessing whether a meaningful and sustainable relationship is emerging and whether it will play a role in the future of international diplomacy and business.

Chapter 1: Fearing European unity and yearning for Asian cooperation: the early years

Pascaline Winand

Subjects: asian studies, asian politics and policy, politics and public policy, european politics and policy, international relations


It is true that Africa is Europe’s hinterland for resources. But if Western Europe is to play its true part in an interdependent world, it is not enough if it remains oriented to the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. It must become a partner in the activities of traditionally civilized societies in India and China which are repositories also of intrinsic cultural and intellectual strength. Jean Monnet speaking to K. Krishna Moorthy (Moorthy 1984) ‘The Indian Government has so far maintained a reserved, in certain cases, frankly hostile attitude toward the Treaty instituting the European Common Market’ (CMA 1958e). These words were written in 1958 in the Council of Ministers of the European Economic Community. Two new European Communities, the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), had just come into existence. They joined the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), which had taken its first steps in the summer of 1952. India had watched the gestation of the EEC with concern. The industrial Free-Trade Area envisaged by Britain as an alternative to the EEC also caused alarm in Indian official and business circles alike. Indian official and business circles alike. This chapter focuses on the first stage of the evolution of the attitudes of Indian governmental and business elites towards European integration attempts from the 1940s to the early 1960s.