The symposium was introduced by a presentation of an external speaker and followed by a Q&A-session. In the first session, focus was on the consultation of civil society in the context of policy and legislation development and implementation, including in the context of trade policy, trade agreements and Trade and Sustainable Development chapters. The participants had the possibility to share information on how civil society functions and is consulted in the respective countries. The second session was a networking coffee, and the participants were given the possibility to discuss the involvement of economic and social stakeholders and other actors to contribute to sustainable trade. The aim of the discussions was to share experience and build the ground for future cooperation.
During its mission to Japan, the EU-Japan Follow-up Committee relied on its former work in order to further strengthen its cooperation with its well-established network of organisations.
During the meeting, the members of the EU Domestic Advisory Group (EU DAG), composed of representatives of employers' organisations, trade unions and various interest groups, will adopt its rules of procedure and confirm the composition of the EU DAG. Discussions will also take place on the preparation of the participation of the EU DAG in the Joint Dialogue with Civil Society, which will be organised in Tokyo on 31 January in the framework of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
During the meeting, the members of the Domestic Advisory Group (DAG) of the EU composed of representatives of employers' organisations, trade unions and various interest group will discuss the mandate of the EU DAG, working methods, reporting procedures and cooperation with other civil society organisations, as well as will exchange views on its rules of procedure. The chair and vice-chairs will also be elected. Additionally, the members of the EU DAG will exchange views with representatives of the European Commission on matters related to the implementation of the trade and sustainable development title of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
Following the signature of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) on 17 July this year, the EU-Japan Follow-up Committee organised a mission to Japan (Tokyo and Kobe) from 13 to 15 November, with the aim to continue to strengthen cooperation and ties between the EESC and its main partners in Japan and to prepare for the establishment of Domestic Advisory Groups (DAGs) and the Joint Dialogue with the civil society in the framework of the Trade and Sustainable Development Chapter of the EU-Japan EPA.
In the light of the agreement in principle reached in July 2017 between the EU and Japan on an Economic Partnership Agreement, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)'s Follow-up Committees on International Trade and Japan are taking the opportunity to organise a half-day joint seminar. The seminar aims at examining the significance of the EU-Japan Agreement in the global context, reflecting on the role that civil society may play in the implementation of such agreement, and aims to assess possible challenges and benefits for different stakeholders (the business community, workers, farmers, consumers, etc.).