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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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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

This preparatory meeting took place ahead of the joint meetings with the Vietnamese counterparts scheduled for the second week of November. It also gave the EU DAG the opportunity to receive an update from DG Trade on the implementation of the FTA as well as a timely update on TSD-related issues and implementation.

19/10/2021
Event

The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (FTA) envisages that DAG members of each Party meet together at a Civil Society Forum to conduct a dialogue encompassing sustainable development aspects of trade relations between the Parties.

12/11/2021
Event
Video-conference

The 6th meeting of the EU-Central America joint meeting of civil society Advisory Groups and Civil Society Dialogue Forum took place on 12 and 13 November 2020 virtually.

On Friday 13 November 2020,the Advisory Groups of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, together with the European Union Advisory Group, met to debate and  address the concerns of all sectors represented in them, also taking into account the challenges ahead in the awake of the COVID-19 crisis on the two regions, and make recommendations to the Trade and Sustainable Development Board.

12/11/2020 13/11/2020
Event

Representatives of the European and Georgian Domestic Advisory Groups (DAGs), set up under the Trade and Sustainable Development Chapter of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Georgia, held their fifth joint meeting virtually on 9 July 2020.

09/07/2020

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