Initial Indian Perceptions of the European Union: The 1940s to the Early 1960s

  • Rajendra K. Jain


The chapter examines Indian concerns, attitudes and perceptions towards European integration and the European Economic Community (EEC) from the 1940s to the early 1960s. It examines Indian perceptions of the European Coal and Steel Community, the European Defence Community and the European Free Trade Area. Contrary to the opinion of many contemporary scholars, this chapter argues that the Government of India took keen interest in the formation of the EEC. It discusses Indian reactions to the Treaty of Rome and role when it came up for consideration in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. It discusses the first direct contacts with the European Commission in an effort to establish diplomatic relations. It goes on to discuss Indian strategies in dealing with the implications of Britain’s first application to join the European Community (1961) and the reactions of the business community, political parties and debates in the Indian Parliament on the Common Market. It evaluates the key elements which influenced Indian thinking and evaluates Indian attempts to secure a viable trade arrangement with the Community during the Nehru era.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rajendra K. Jain
    • 1
  1. 1.School of International StudiesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

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