The Consultative Committee (CC) is one of the 5 institutions foreseen in the EU-CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement. The CC is composed of 40 (25 from the CARIFORM side and 15 from the EU side) standing representatives of organisations of the civil society representing employers' organisations, trade unions, other economic, social and non-governmental organisations, including development and environmental organisations; and the academic community.
Latinamerika og Vestindien
EØSU har samarbejdet med sine søsterorganisationer i Latinamerika og Caribien siden 1990'erne. Udvalget har i adskillige af sine udtalelser fokuseret på forbindelserne med disse regioner både på regionalt, subregionalt og nationalt niveau. EØSU's prioriteter omfatter udvikling af civilsamfundsorganisationer, økonomisk og social udvikling, regional integration og multilateralt samarbejde.
På regionalt niveau arrangerer EØSU hvert andet år møder mellem repræsentanter for civilsamfundsorganisationerne i Europa, Latinamerika og Caribien som led i forberedelserne til topmødet mellem EU og CELAC.
På subregionalt niveau er der oprettet adskillige permanente strukturer. I 2009 lancerede EØSU i samarbejde med Brasiliens økonomiske og sociale råd en rundbordsdialog for civilsamfundet med henblik på at skabe et forum for dialog og fortsat samarbejde mellem repræsentanter for det europæiske og det brasilianske civilsamfund. Ved associeringsaftalen mellem EU og Chile fik EØSU mandat til sammen med sin chilenske modpart at nedsætte et blandet rådgivende udvalg med henblik på at følge med i gennemførelsen af aftalen. Dette udvalg blev endeligt nedsat i 2016. For så vidt angår landene i Det Andinske Fællesskab, deltager EØSU i den interne rådgivende gruppe, der overvåger frihandelsaftalen mellem EU og Colombia, Peru og Ecuador. Desuden deltager EØSU i det rådgivende udvalg Cariforum-EU, der overvåger den økonomiske partnerskabsaftale mellem EU og Cariforumlandene. Der er etableret permanente forbindelser med EØSU's institutionelle pendanter i Mercosur (det økonomiske og sociale rådgivende forum) og Centralamerika (det rådgivende udvalg for det mellemamerikanske integrationssystem).
During the meeting, the representative of the European External Action Service (EEAS) presented information about the EU relations and cooperation with Central America. Based on the Second Annual Report, the Commission representative provided information about the implementation of the trade pillar of the Association Agreement, changes in trade flows and work of joint bodies established by the Agreement. The EU Advisory Group discussed also preparations for the next meeting with Central America under the Trade and Sustainable Development Title, as well as the ways to better communicate its activities to the Central American partners and other relevant stakeholders.
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.
Joint statement from the fifth meeting of the CARIFORUM-EU Consultative Committee
Concept note proposal to establish a CARIFORUM-EU Centre in Europe – Joint Statement appendix
The main conclusion of the paper is that the incorporation of environmental provisions within the EPAs may present some benefits to ACP countries. These include increased enforcement of environmental laws and the raising of domestic environmental standards. However, developing countries will have to seek ways to mitigate some risks and challenges associated with internal and regional coordination in negotiations, legal burdens of the negotiating process itself and the implementation of obligations as well as the establishment and maintenance of appropriate levels of environmental protection and institution building. ACP countries will need appropriate packages of technical assistance, capacity building, and environmental cooperation to meet this new environmental agenda in their trade agreements.
In October 2008, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Dominican Republic, being members of the Forum of the Caribbean Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM), signed the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU). Haiti signed the agreement in December 2009, but has not yet applied it, as it still has to be ratified.
The first objective of Article 1 of the Agreement indicated that the EPA is expected to contribute to “the reduction and eventual eradication of poverty through the establishment of a trade partnership consistent with the objective of sustainable development, the Millennium Development Goals and the Cotonou Agreement” but also to promote regional integration, economic cooperation and good governance, and to improve CARIFORUM States' capacity in trade policy and trade-related issues.
In the context of the implementation of this EPA, the ILO Decent Work Team (DWT) for the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean based in Trinidad and Tobago put together, with the financial support of the EU, the project “Support to Facilitate Participation of CARIFORUM Civil Society in the Regional Development and Integration Process: Challenges to CARIFORUM Labour, Private Sector and Employers to Fulfil their EPA Obligations”. It targeted all CARIFORUM countries and was to be implemented between 2015 and 2018. This project is herein after referred to as the “ILO-EU Project”.