Международна търговия

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International trade is governed by a complex mixture of global rules agreed under World Trade Organization and bilateral and multilateral agreements. The free trade agreements are having a growing impact on citizens' rights. Under the Lisbon Treaty, EU trade policy must be conducted within the framework of the principles and objectives of the Union’s external action, including promotion of the rule of law, human rights and sustainable development.

We believe that this trend should be a guiding principle in EU trade negotiations and in trade relations. The fact that we at the EESC reconcile the positions and views of business, workers, professionals, farmers, consumers and other important stakeholders contributes real added value. We are in a position to efficiently relay the opinions of civil society and interest groups to international policy-makers both during negotiations and in the implementation of trade agreements. We have set up a Follow-up Committee on International trade to ensure that civil society has a say in the shaping of EU trade policy. We are also managing the Domestic Advisory groups set up under the trade and sustainable development chapters of the EU "new generation" trade agreements. These groups, composed of civil society representatives (from inside and outside the EESC) are responsible for identifying trade and sustainable development-related problems in the implementation of a trade agreement.

  • An interactive exchange on initiatives for responsible business conduct in the EU

    The purpose of the conference is to raise awareness, across the EU, on how multi-stakeholder actions can boost the achievement of the SDGs, to identify success factors, and to develop follow-up actions for upscaling these to EU-level.

    The specific conference objectives are:

    • Firstly, to identify and share experiences in relation to national instruments and initiatives designed to foster responsible business conduct in international value chains, and to explore which initiatives could possibly be scaled up to EU-level.
    • Secondly, to higlight the importance of improved and sustained coherence between relevant internal and external EU policies - which is paramount to the effective implementation of initiatives on responsible business conduct, as the replication of a variety of initiatives might impact both the EU internal market (e.g. calling for guidance how tension with competition law can be avoided) and the EU’s external policies, including trade, development, and environmental policies.
    • Thirdly, to explore how these existing approaches can feed into and complement the work of the European Commission's Multistakeholder Platform on SDG implementation efforts across sectors, as announced in Next steps for a sustainable European future, November 2016.

    Finally yet importantly, the concept of the conference dovetails with the idea to highlight the role of civil society and industry organisations in contributing to the achievement of the SDGs.

    The conference is co-organised with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER).

  • 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 discussed the mandate of the EU DAG, working methods, reporting procedures and cooperation with other civil society organisations, as well as exchanged views on its rules of procedure. Additionally, the members of the EU DAG exchanged views with representatives of the European Commission on matters related to the implementation of the trade and sustainable development title of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA).

  • During the meeting, the Chair of the EU DAG under the new mandate was elected. The Group also discussed its mandate, working methods, reporting procedures and cooperation with other civil society organisations, as well as exchanged views on its rules of procedure and assess possible amendments . Moreover, the EU DAG discussed with representatives of the EC matters related to the implementation of the EU-Korea FTA under three pillars of sustainable development.

  • The 12th meeting of the EU Advisory Group for the EU-Central America Association Agreement took place on 30 May in Brussels.  Please click on the programme tab to consult the topics on the agenda.

  • During the 8th meeting of the Domestic Advisory Group for the EU-Colombia, Peru and Ecuador FTA the new President and Vice-Chairs were elected under the new mandate. Members participated in debriefing on past activities and exchanged views on a possible work programme for the new mandate. DG TRADE provided the members with the latest information on the FTA.

  • 7th meeting of the Domestic Advisory Group for the EU-Colombia and Peru FTA

  • The 11th meeting of the EU Advisory Group for the EU-Central America Association Agreement took place on 25 January in Brussels.  Please click on the programme tab to consult the topics on the agenda.

  • The 9th meeting of the EU Advisory Group for the EU-Central America Association Agreement took place on 14 October in Brussels.

  • Hearing on how to involve civil society in EU Member States when ratifying trade agreements

    In recent years, EU trade policy has become a true issue of debate in the civil society at national level: that shows the need to bring trade policy closer to EU citizens. EU Member States have different existing national structures, procedures and consultation methods, as well as ratification processes; however, citizens from most countries not always seem to be able to fully express their voices in national debates on trade policy. The objective of the event was that of a) assessing and examining the different kinds of consultation procedures that exist in the Member States; b) exploring how civil society and consultative structures, wherever they exist, are informed or consulted on negotiations and implementation of trade agreements, and c) promoting the experience of the EESC in the domain of the EU trade policy.

  • Hearing in the framework of the EESC opinion

    As the world’s largest exporter and importer of foreign direct investment, it is of paramount importance for the EU to ensure that the resolution of investment disputes operates effectively on an international level. Many countries are currently engaged in internal reflections regarding their policies on investment protection and investment dispute settlement. The EESC aims therefore to make a timely contribution to this ongoing and highly interesting debate.

    At the request of the European Commission, the EESC is currently drafting an own-initiative opinion on a possible future multilateral court for the settlement of investment disputes. The European Commission proposes for this court to become a permanent body to decide investment disputes, under the auspices of the United Nations Commission on International Trade law (UNCITRAL).