Cet avis poursuit un double objectif:
Section «Relations extérieures» (REX) - Related Opinions
Administrator in charge Ana Dujmovic, Assistant Nadja Kačičnik
On 5 February 2020, the European Commission published its Communication Enhancing the accession process – A credible EU perspective for the
Western Balkans, proposing a new methodology for candidate countries of the Western Balkans with the objective to render the accession process more coherent, respond to concerns of certain Member States expressed in October 2019 and enable the enlargement process to continue.
The incoming German EU Presidency has listed this file as one of their top priorities in the field. This is in line with their long-standing interest to the issue of due diligence and corporate social responsibility, which they had tabled during their Presidency of the G7 in 2015 and G20 in 2017. The German government wants an EU legislation on the issue and they would welcome the EESC opinion. They are encouraged by the launch of a Commission study on Sustainable supply chains back in January 2020. They would ideally like to present the EESC opinion during their high-level conference scheduled on 6-7 October 2020.
The main questions to be addressed in the opinion are: what are the components of carbon markets, what are the challenges for the future and, finally, the challenges for EU industry? The opinion is expected to make a significant contribution to the current political debate within the framework of the European Green Deal.
When it comes to development and EU-Africa relations, the EESC consistently emphasised the importance of sustainable development and cooperation based on the rule of law and the respect for human rights. Initiatives focused on trade, investment and business relations with Africa could be welcomed, but not to the detriment of traditional development policies focusing on reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). EU and Africa leaders agreed in 2015 at the Valletta summit on migration on setting up the EU Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), as the main instrument of EU external migration policy. The Fund finances the development of border protection capacities, but also long-term development policy projects so as to decrease the likelihood of further migration.
A system of corporate liability for human rights abuses is currently being negotiated in the UN, within the UNHRC’s open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises concerning human rights (OEIGWG), established by the UN General Assembly on 26 June 2014. The mandate of the working group is to elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises.
2019 is the year we are celebrating the ten-year anniversary of a real and living partnership – the Eastern Partnership (EaP). Over the last decade this partnership has gone through its share of difficulties. Yet, it not only endured - it developed, matured and delivered beyond what we foresaw at the beginning.
Thus after 10 years of EaP policy, it is crucial to properly evaluate the achievements and aims and reflect on the next possible steps. It is important to ensure that EaP policy connects countries and people and covers a broad area of issues, including supporting civil society, pluralism and independent media, as well as ensuring gender equality and non-discrimination. As it is likely that the policy will change its course from a one-size-fits-all to a tailor-made approach, it will be crucial to ensure that those wanting to get closer to the EU have this opportunity, adapted to their ambitions and pace.