The External Relations Section (REX) of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is responsible for dialogue between European civil society organisations and their homologues from the countries with which the European Union has formal relations (e.g. under the form of a Free Trade Agreement). Through this dialogue, made possible by a series of bilateral bodies, and through specialized opinions and information reports, the Committee is able to concretely contribute to EU foreign policy.
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.
EESC Employers’ Group priorities
The 1st European Civil Society Forum on Trade and Sustainable Development organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) took place as a hybrid meeting on 29 March 2022.
This report and its recommendations reflect the discussions and different speakers’ view.
This handbook aims to present the EU Domestic Advisory Groups (DAGs) in their mission, their composition, the organisation of their work and their relations with stakeholders. It provides the necessary information for any new DAG member and for third countries' partners who request information on DAGs. It also compiles a list of horizontal issues to facilitate coordination across DAGs.
On 31 March 2022, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held a high-level conference on Health challenges in the EU in the pandemic context.
Between June 2021 and March 2022, the EESC held a series of events on the updated new industrial strategy. Each event was organised by a different section of the EESC and focused on a specific aspect of the strategy, with the aim of hearing the views of civil society organisations on the future of European industry.
Following the publication of the European Commission's Update to the New Industrial Strategy, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has been carrying out a series of activities to fulfil its role of representing the views of organised civil society. A key event in this process has been a conference held on 17 June 2021, from 2.30 to 6 p.m., on Updated industrial strategy: towards a more resilient and strategically autonomous EU industry.
Following the publication of the European Commission's Update to the New Industrial Strategy, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has been carrying out a series of activities to fulfil its role of representing the views of organised civil society. A first event in this process has been a conference held on 17 June 2021, from 2.30 to 6 p.m., on Updated industrial strategy: towards a more resilient and strategically autonomous EU industry?
Critical Raw Materials: civil society calls for firm and fast action to secure supply and maintain a strong industrial base in the EU
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Consultative Commission on Industrial Change (CCMI) believe that the present and future of critical raw materials resilience is of essential concern to EU's organised civil society. For this reason, and because the Commission's Action Plan represents a step forward by providing a clear roadmap with initiatives and actions to be taken at EU level, overall the EESC recommends that the European Parliament and the Council support this approach.