The current shuttle diplomacy at various levels of and among various branches of government between Brussels and India is starting to bear fruit. Now the EU and India appear to have a formal start date for their negotiations towards a free trade agreement, an investment agreement, and an agreement on food names (geographical indications): mid June, shortly after the WTO ministerial conference MC12.

This information comes from Indian media sources and after a visit of a European Parliament delegation to New Delhi this week. “Commerce Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam said the EU team would visit India for talks immediately after the ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation, which is scheduled from June 12-15,” reported the Economic Times. The head of the EU’s parliament delegation, the International Trade Committee’s Bernd Lange released rather optimistic tweets during his visit. Such as this one: “Open and insipring discussion” – in reference to a meeting with India’s trade minister Piyush Goyal. But both sides need to agree on the final parameters for the negotiations – i.e. to finalise the ‘scoping’ phase for the trade agreement.