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In Asien unterhält der EWSA Beziehungen zu zivilgesellschaftlichen Organisationen in China, Japan und Südkorea. So wurde im Jahr 2007 im Anschluss an das 9. Gipfeltreffen EU-China ein offizielles Diskussionsforum EU-China eingerichtet, das mindestens einmal jährlich zusammenkommt. In den letzten Jahren bemüht sich der EWS im Hinblick auf das Freihandelsabkommen zwischen der EU und Japan, in dem der Zivilgesellschaft eine begleitende und beratende Funktion zugewiesen wird, um den Aufbau engerer Beziehungen zur organisierten Zivilgesellschaft Japans.

Das Freihandelsabkommen EU-Republik Korea, das im Jahr 2011 in Kraft getreten ist, war das erste der sogenannten neuen Generation von Handelsabkommen der EU. Die Besonderheit dieser Abkommen liegt in der Aufnahme eines Kapitels zu Handel und nachhaltiger Entwicklung, in dem dem EWSA – zusammen mit zivilgesellschaftlichen Organisationen der Republik Korea – eine offizielle Rolle bei der Begleitung der Umsetzung dieses Kapitels und der Beratung der zuständigen politischen Gremien in Sachen Umwelt-, Sozial- und Arbeitsstandards sowie weiteren für die Zivilgesellschaft unmittelbar relevanten Fragen zugewiesen wird. Jedes Jahr finden drei Treffen der Internen Beratungsgruppe der EU statt, und einmal im Jahr findet ein gemeinsames Treffen statt.

Darüber hinaus unterhält der EWSA Beziehungen zur Zivilgesellschaft in weiteren asiatischen Ländern und beteiligt sich ggf. an einschlägigen internationalen Veranstaltungen. Ein Beispiel hierfür ist das zweijährliche Asien-Europa-Bürgerforum, eine interregionale Plattform der Zivilgesellschaft, die Teil des Asien-Europa-Treffens ist.

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verabschiedet on 27/10/2011
475 -
Nov 26, 2011 Nov 27, 2011

An EU-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) would cover over a fifth of the global population, making it one of the most significant FTAs in the world. It has the potential to bring significant benefits for society to both the EU and India.

However, the EESC is concerned with its uncertain social and environmental effects for the EU, especially in terms of Mode 4 (mobility of workers) and for the poorer segments of Indian society.

The role of civil society in the free trade agreement between the EU and India

verabschiedet on 04/07/2016

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) warns against granting China market economy status (MES) and  calls on the European institutions to promote fair international competition and actively defend European jobs and European values with efficient trade defence instruments (TDIs). In its opinion, adopted at its 514th plenary session on 14th July, the EESC points to the disastrous impact a possible granting of MES to China would have on Europe's industry and consequently on Europe's labour market. The EESC insists on China's fulfilment of the five EU criteria for achieving the MES.

The impact on key industrial sectors (and on jobs and growth) of the possible granting of market economy treatment to China (for the purpose of trade defence instruments)

verabschiedet on 21/01/2014

This own initiative opinion looks to examine the agreement already under negotiation between EU and Japan (being the third non-European EU trade partner) and in particular its economic, social and environmental consequences. This agreement is not only dealing with trade, but will have on societies expected consequences to be enlightened and taken in account by negotiators. The automobile sector, public procurement, services, agricultural and pharmaceutical products sectors are, among others, concerned.

The Role of Civil Society in the negotiation and implementation of an EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement

verabschiedet on 14/01/2015
504 -
Jan 21, 2015 Jan 22, 2015

The main aim of the review is to assess whether all existing priorities of the EU-Central Asia Strategy remain valid, and whether the EU should maintain its current focus on issues such as security, education, sustainable development (energy, transport and environment), and the rule of law.

Civil society contribution to the review of the EU-Central Asia Strategy

verabschiedet on 24/01/2017

The 2030 Agenda, the new global framework for sustainable development agreed by the UN in 2015, needs to be reflected in EU's development policy, the major orientations of which are set out in the 2005 European Consensus on Development ("the Consensus").

To this end, the Commission issued Communication COM(2016) 740, "Proposal for a New European Consensus on Development: Our World, Our Dignity, Our Future" in November 2016.  Interinstitutional negotiations are expected to result in its endorsement in the form of a Joint Statement by the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission, in May 2017.

Information memo: REX/484 - European Consensus on Development

Jonathan Peel during the plenary session

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has adopted at its March plenary session an opinion on the Joint Communication "Connecting Europe and Asia – Building blocks for an EU Strategy", issued by the European Commission and the EU High Representative in September 2018. The EESC considers it to be a seriously missed opportunity, with many significant strategic gaps, little ambition and no real depth of vision offered as to the development of EU's relationship and connectivity with Asia.