Domestic Advisory Groups (DAGs) are civil society bodies advising on the implementation of trade agreements. They appeared for the first time with the 2011 EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement. Since then, every Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed by the EU with a partner country or group of countries establishes an EU DAG and a DAG for the counter-part to the agreement.
DAGs aren't bilateral bodies: the EU DAG is tasked with advising Commission's DG TRADE, while the DAG of the counter-part has the responsibility of advising its national government. However, the DAGs on both sides can organise DAG-to-DAG meetings ahead of DG TRADE's annual Civil Society Forum meeting, organised in the framework of a given Free Trade Agreement.
DAGs are mainly active in the domain of Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD): the FTAs signed by the EU have a specific chapter on TSD, and the social partners and civil society organisations represented in the DAGs have their say on the effects of the FTA on society, economy, environment, as well as workers' and human rights in the EU and in the partner country or countries.
The DAGs' composition ensures a balanced representation from three main groups: employers, workers, and third sector/NGOs. Further subdivisions are decided and put in place autonomously by the DAGs themselves. For the EU DAGs, the EESC provides three members (one per group).
The EESC also ensures secretarial services for all DAGs.
Following the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which entered into force in 2021, an EU Domestic Advisory Group under the EU-UK TCA was established, with the responsibility of advising the Commission on the full Agreement.
There are currently 12 DAGs, 20 of which have just been renewed for the 2023-25 mandate. You can find more information on the dedicated page for each DAG.