The European Union and India
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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.
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Chapter 4: The arrival of Indian pragmatism

Pascaline Winand


In 1974 European Economic Community (EEC) commercial counselors in Delhi rejoiced (CMA 1974a): The conclusion of the CCA [Commercial Cooperation Agreement] has been widely welcomed by India and the competent authorities seem to be satisfied with the results. They consider the CCA as a model agreement for the negotiations of other Commonwealth countries with the EEC. For India, the CCA is a new forum where bilateral trade questions can be discussed. As for the Indian press, it had ‘expressed the hope that after the conclusion of the CCA India would be able to get additional aid from the EEC’ even though the Government of India (GOI) did not entertain such expectations. There were also hopes that the Joint Commission would be able to address Indian problems for products such as coir, tobacco and carpets. The only downside was that it ‘was not empowered to deal with questions regarding investments’. On the whole, there appeared to ‘be a growing realization of the significance of the EEC as a political entity and of the need for India to strengthen its political links with the Community as a whole’. This rather optimistic assessment of Indian perceptions of the EEC contrasted with the earlier attitude of the Indian press and the GOI which portrayed the EEC as ‘inward and backward-looking’ and leaning towards Africa rather than towards Asia.

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