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 2: Indian lobbying and European Economic Community dissensions in the 1960s

Pascaline Winand

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

Extract

By June 1961, the commercial counselors in Delhi reported that Indian reactions in official and private circles showed ‘an at times virulent opposition against the project of associating the United Kingdom to the Common Market’ (CMA 1961a). The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) ‘led a violent campaign’ against it. Governmental circles feared that the UK association would undermine the unity of the Commonwealth and that African countries would now be the main beneficiaries of aid from Western Europe. Prime Minister Nehru felt that the latter could lead to a ‘real political control of underdeveloped countries’. Articles in the press further contributed to growing fears that Indian exports such as tea, cotton, jute and coir would suffer greatly (CMA 1961a). This chapter examines India’s negotiating tactics to protect its trade interests during the first British application to join the European Economic Community (EEC). As the UK was its largest market, India stood to lose much if it did not act swiftly. We examine to what extent India relied on British negotiators, the EEC Commission or EEC member states to convey its views during the application negotiations for British entry. We consider how India viewed the consequences UK membership of the EEC might have for the Commonwealth and the defense of Indian interests via the Commonwealth.

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