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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.

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30/06/2017
Press Release
Reference number: 
34/2017

The EU-China Round Table's fifteenth meeting took place in Beijing from 28 to 30 June 2017, marking 10 years since it was first set up. The theme of the 2-day meeting of delegations from the EESC and the China Economic and Social Council (CESC) was “Partnership for Growth, Civilization of mutual benefit”. The main topics of debate were innovation as a driver for economic vitality, trade, investment and social and labour rights, summed up in a joint statement.

19/05/2016
Press Release
Reference number: 
33/2016

The EU-China Round Table's 14th meeting was hosted by the EESC in Brussels on 18-19 May 2016. The Round Table was set up in 2007 following a Decision taken by the 9th EU-China Summit, which acknowledged that the exchanges and cooperation between the EESC and its Chinese counterpart, the China Economic and Social Council (CESC), formed an integral part of the EU-China relationship. Topics on the agenda included ...

Event
Breaking down the silos

The Forum aimed to break down the silos and enable inclusive and interactive debates between institutions, academia and civil society, all on an equal footing. The event covered topics relevant to trade and sustainable development (TSD) – from substantive rights through monitoring to enforcement and much more. The ambition was to feed innovative ideas and concrete recommendations to the ongoing reflections on the future of EU TSD policy, in the double context of the review of the 15-point action plan and recent trade and sustainability developments outside the EU.

29/03/2022
Event

The webinar will take place in the context of the EESC International Trade Follow-up Committee, in cooperation with the EESC INT Section and will explore the topic of 'Supply chains and the case of reshoring'. 

21/02/2022
Event

The EU and the Japan Domestic Advisory Groups (DAGs), established under the Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) chapter of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), attended the 3rd EU-Japan Joint Dialogue with Civil Society, which took place in virtual format on 27 January 2022.

27/01/2022

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