During the 9th meeting of the Domestic Advisory Group for the EU-Colombia, Peru and Ecuador FTA the members discussed the Rules of Procedure and the work programme of the new mandate. DG TRADE provided the members with the latest information on the FTA.
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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.
The 15th meeting of the EU Advisory Group for the EU-Central America Association Agreement took place on 29 April 2019 in Brussels. Please click on the programme tab to consult the topics on the agenda.
The 4th EU-Korea Civil Society Forum (CSF) followed a workshop on labour-related aspects held on 9 September during which members of the EU and Korea DAGs had discussed the situation on the labour markets in the EU and the Republic of Korea, including rules concerning fixed-term contracts and minimum wages. At the CSF, participants discussed labour standards with the ILO representative, including progress achieved by both Parties to the Agreement as well as the next steps in the ratification and effective implementation of the ILO fundamental and other up-to-date conventions. Both DAGs also exchanged information about the role of civil society in the EU and the Republic of Korea in the development and implementation of the climate change policy at national, EU and international level. Moreover, participants discussed Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), policy of the Parties in this respect, as well as proposals for future cooperation.
In the light of the ongoing EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is drafting an own-initiative opinion on "The position of the EESC on specific key issues of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations". In this framework, the EESC is organising a public hearing, to be held at the Committee premises on 30 June 2016, beginning at 9 a.m.
The 8th meeting of the EU Advisory Group for the EU-Central America Association Agreement will take place on February 1st in Brussels.
The 13th meeting of the EU Advisory Group for the EU-Central America Association Agreement took place on 4 October 2018 in Brussels. Please click on the programme tab to consult the topics on the agenda.
Do we think about the people who are producing the goods that we are buying? Do we think of their environmental impact? What is the impact on the European industry?
During the meeting, the representative of the European External Action Service (EEAS) provided information about the EU-Central America relations, including about the entry into force of the Political and Cooperation Agreement in May 2014 and progress in ratification of the Association Agreement. Moreover, the Commission representatives (DG TRADE) provided information concerning implementation of the trade pillar of the EU-Central America Association Agreement and its Trade and Sustainable Development Title. The EU Advisory Group discussed also preparations for the first joint meetings with Central America (joint meeting of the Advisory Groups and Civil Society Dialogue Forum) planned for November 2014 in Managua (Nicaragua).
This year's joint meetings between the EU and Central America under the Trade and Sustainable Development Title of the Association Agreement commenced with a workshop on market access. The participants discussed opportunities provided by the Agreement and challenges faced by the economic operators, in particular SMEs. Separate sessions focused on fair trade and value chains as ways facilitating market access for SMEs and small producers. On 16 June, the representatives of the EU and Central American Advisory Groups exchanged experience in their up-to-date operation and discussed proposals for strengthening capacity of the civil society monitoring mechanism, the role of the Parties in this context and future cooperation. This was followed by Civil Society Dialogue Forum where civil society representatives from the EU and Central America asked questions and expressed positions with regard to implementation of the Association Agreement and its impacts.
The discussion focussed on the preparation (topics, stakeholders, organizational aspects) of the Civil Society Forum with Korea and the Workshop on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), held In February in Brussels (20-21 February 2017).