Canada and United States

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The EU, US and Canada share the values of democracy, human rights, economic and political freedom and have overlapping foreign policy and security concerns. The US and Canada are amongst the EU's main trade partners and also partners in shaping the international legal order. Transatlantic relations nowadays take place in a new environment and are facing growing challenges. We consider that civil society involvement in this relationship provides a guarantee that transatlantic relations are able respond to the public's expectations and effectively contribute to shaping mutually beneficial cooperation.

The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Strategic Partnership Agreement were signed on 30 October 2016. We will be looking for constant civil society involvement in the implementation of these agreements. Negotiations on an EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are presently at a standstill. However, the TTIP negotiations contributed to strengthening the links between the EU and US civil society and to defining civil society views on how the future trade relationship between the EU and US should look. These achievements should not be lost. Our Transatlantic Follow-up Committee was set up in September 2014 with a mandate to monitor transatlantic links with civil society, setting up regular dialogue and consultation on issues related to relations with the US and Canada.

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  • Adopted on 08/12/2021 - Bureau decision date: 25/03/2021
    Reference
    REX/534-EESC-2021
    Civil Society Organisations - GR III
    Germany
    Employers - GR I
    Germany

    Recent years have been marked by a persistent global decline in democratic values and the rule of law. While many differences remain and have to be acknowledged, North America has unquestionably been our closest historical ally in championing democracy and its values across the world. The arrival of the new administration in the US has provided a new momentum and a unique opportunity to build the new transatlantic partnership and jointly manage not only the internal, but also global challenges, especially with regard to powers which do not share the same values, such as China or Russia. President Biden's initiative to organise a Summit for Democracy at a time when autocracies are on the offensive is only the first step in building a strong international democratic alliance.

    EESC opinion: A strong transatlantic partnership based on the common values of democracy and the rule of law, key in tackling global challenges and preserving international order (own-initiative opinion)
  • Adopted on 21/09/2016 - Bureau decision date: 12/07/2016
    Reference
    REX/471-EESC-2016-01-01
    (Portugal

    On 12 June 2014, the Commission presented a proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council codifying Council Regulation (EC) No 673/2005 of 25 April 2005 establishing additional customs duties on imports of certain products originating in the United States of America.

    EESC opinion: Imports of certain products originating in the United States of America (codification)
  • Adopted on 21/09/2016 - Bureau decision date: 21/01/2016
    Reference
    REX/464-EESC-2016-01-01
    (Belgium
    Workers - GR II
    Germany

    The EESC has played an important role in strengthening an informed civil society debate on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) through a number of TTIP-related opinions, adopted in 2014 and 2015, covering issues such as labour rights, investment protection, impact on SMEs, among others.

    It is important under the present circumstances that the EESC, in order to maintain its position as a key civil society player in the TTIP debate, react to the textual proposals for TTIP negotiations on essential topics such as the sustainable development chapter, regulatory cooperation, investment and services. This will have the advantage not only of setting up the EESC position on major negotiating chapters but also of presenting concrete recommendations and pointing out the need to involve civil society in the implementation of those chapters.

    EESC opinion: The position of the EESC on specific key issues of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations (own-initiative opinion)
  • Adopted on 02/07/2015
    Reference
    REX/433-EESC
    Employers - GR I
    France
    Civil Society Organisations - GR III
    Greece
    Plenary session number
    509
    -

    The own-initiative opinion will focus on the impact of the TTIP on SMEs and reflect on the provisions that would need to be included in the TTIP in order to take account of the specific character of SMEs in the negotiations and implementation of an eventual EU-US agreement. The opinion will also look at how to increase the awareness of SMEs as to existing support services and programmes, and particularly about the new business opportunities that may arise with this agreement.

    TTIP and its impact on SMEs
  • Adopted on 27/05/2015
    Reference
    REX/411-EESC-0000-01-01
    Workers - GR II
    United Kingdom
    Plenary session number
    508
    -

    Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the investment policy is an exclusive competence of the European Union. The EU is aiming to include therefore in the new trade and investment agreements provisions on investor protection and investor to state dispute settlement (ISDS) which will replace existing Bilateral Investment Agreements (BIT) signed by Member States and will grant the same level of protection to all EU investors.

    Investor protection and investor to State dispute settlement in EU trade and investment agreements with third countries
    The EESC opposes ISDS in TTIP and CETA and calls for an International Investment Court
  • Adopted on 04/06/2014
    Reference
    REX/390-EESC-2014-01-01-5469
    Employers - GR I
    Poland
    Workers - GR II
    United Kingdom
    Plenary session number
    499
    -

    The main goal of the opinion is to provide a good and qualitative source of information and opinion in the beginning of TTIP negotiations process.

    Transatlantic trade relations and the EESC's views on an enhanced cooperation and eventual EU-US FTA
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