In recent years, EU trade policy has become a true issue of debate in the civil society at national level: that shows the need to bring trade policy closer to EU citizens. EU Member States have different existing national structures, procedures and consultation methods, as well as ratification processes; however, citizens from most countries not always seem to be able to fully express their voices in national debates on trade policy. The objective of the event will be that of a) assessing and examining the different kinds of consultation procedures that exist in the Member States; b) exploring how civil society and consultative structures, wherever they exist, are informed or consulted on negotiations and implementation of trade agreements, and c) promoting the experience of the EESC in the domain of the EU trade policy.
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External relations - Related Events
The 16th EU-China Civil Society Round Table will take place in Varna, Bulgaria from 28 May to 29 May 2018.
The topics of the Round Table meeting will be the following: Social security and social solidarity mechanisms, and trade and investment as part of EU-China relations. In the fringes of the Round Table, a tripartite seminar on EU-China Tourism Year 2018 will be organised.
The Western Balkans Conference is planned as a civil society contribution to the EU-Western Balkans Heads of State Summit, scheduled by the Bulgarian Presidency to take place on 17 May 2018 in Sofia. The Conference would gather EESC members, civil society representatives of the countries of the Western Balkans, as well as Bulgarian officials and members of the organized civil society (including social partners from the Economic and Social Council of Bulgaria). The outcome of the Conference will be shared with the participants of the EU-Western Balkans Summit.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and Serbia held the 6th meeting of their Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) at the EESC in Brussels. This civil society platform between the EESC and civil society in Serbia was established within the institutional framework of the EU-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) in order to allow civil society organisations on both sides to monitor the country's accession negotiations. It is also a platform to discuss issues of common interest and to inform the public at large of the challenges ahead during the accession period. Besides the current state of play in EU-Serbia relations and the accession process, main topic of the 6th JCC meeting was: Social economy and Involvement of social partners and other civil society organisations in the elaboration of Economic Reform Programmes. A common declaration of the JCC was issued after the meeting.
The EESC has been entrusted by the Cotonou Agreement with maintaining relations with socio-economic actors and civil society from ACP countries.
Priorities and activities within the frame of the ACP-EU civil society relations are decided and implemented through an ACP-EU Follow-Up Committee (FuC), which is composed of 12 EESC members and 12 representatives of ACP economic and social interest groups. The FuC is also a primary partner of the political authorities in the Cotonou partnership and the other EU institutions.
The Civil Society Platform complements the political bodies existing within the framework of the EU-Moldova Association Agreement, and it allows civil society organisations from both sides to monitor the implementation process and prepare their recommendations to the relevant authorities both in the Republic of Moldova as well as in the European Union.
The EU-Turkey Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee was established in 1995, based on the mandate given by the Ankara Agreement. This body is composed of members from the EESC and members representing organised civil society in Turkey. Its objective is to contribute to the dialogue among civil society organisations in Turkey and the EU and to issue reports and recommendations to the Turkish authorities and the EU institutions.
Among the many topics to be discussed at this JCC meeting: The EU-Turkey relations, the rôle of Turkey in the refugee crisis, the Enhancement of EU-Turkey bilateral trade relations and modernisation of the Customs Union, the Blue Economy in the Western Mediterranean
The meeting will concluded with the adoption of a joint declaration.
The Euro-Mediterranean Summit of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions bring together some 120 participants from a range of economic and social councils, or similar institutions, representatives of employers, trade unions, other economic and social interests groups and NGOs from countries which are members of the Union for the Mediterranean.
This year, the Summit will focus on :
- Economic, Social and Cultural rights in the Mediterranean region
- A Social protection floor in the Euromediterrean Area
- A new generation of women's rights
It will conclude with the adoption of a final declaration that will be sent to the political authorities of the countries involved in the Euromed Ministerial Summits as civil society's contribution to their work, and disseminated widely amongst civil society organisations in the region.
4ª reunión conjunta de los grupos asesores nacionales de la UE, Colombia, Perú y Ecuador y sesión abierta
The Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) has been the main framework for relations between the continents of Europe and Africa since 2007. Its goal is to develop a shared vision of the main global issues whilst simultaneously strengthening cooperation in a broad range of areas such as development, governance, human rights, trade, regional integration, food security and migration. To this end, meetings of EU-African economic and social stakeholders are held on a regular basis.