International Trade

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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.

  • The 4th annual All DAGs meeting took place on Monday 18 April 2024 09:00-13:00 at the EESC premises in JDE62.
    This was the first All DAGs meeting of this DAG mandate which welcomed the newer DAG Members, as well as more experienced ones. It was a unique opportunity to gather all EU DAG Members and EU institutions as one TSD community, to openly exchange ideas, challenges, and aspirations. The meeting featured, among others, CTEO Denis Redonnet and DDG Maria Martin-Prat, DG Trade.

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    The EU-Japan DAG hosted a workshop: "Promoting human rights and environmental due diligence together" on 9 April 2024 following a Joint Dialogue with Civil Society in Tokyo on 8 April. The workshop's objective was to foster dialogue between EU and Japan civil society representatives, focusing on best practices and a solution-oriented approach in an area of importance to the implementation of the TSD-chapter of the EU-Japan EPA. Human rights and environmental due diligence are topics of common interest, as the EU and Japan share values and want to secure resilient supply chains so as to do business in a sustainable way.

  • The 10th meeting of the EU Domestic Advisory Group (DAG) under the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), and second meeting of the new 2023-25 term, took place on 9 January, 2024.

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    11th EU-Chile Joint Consultative Committee

  • Le Comité consultatif CARIFORUM-UE (CC) a été créé avec pour tâche et responsabilité de favoriser un dialogue et une collaboration significatifs entre les délégués des organisations de la société civile, y compris la communauté universitaire, et les acteurs sociaux et économiques.

  • L'envers du commerce : une approche ascendante du développement durable

    The EESC is hosting the 2nd European Civil Society Forum on Trade and Sustainable Development : ' The other side of trade: a bottom-up approach to sustainable development' on 14 November 2023 (9:30 to 16:00) in hybrid format.

    Moving from the fundamental question "Have we been listening?", the event will examine TSD from different angles with one common approach: inclusive, bottom-up, solution-oriented.

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  • Le 8 mars 2023, la cinquième réunion du groupe consultatif interne de l'UE s'est tenue dans un format hybride. L'un des objectifs de la réunion était de préparer la partie européenne à la prochaine réunion conjointe avec le DAG de Singapour. Les membres ont suivi une présentation sur le commerce des services entre l'UE et Singapour, donnée par M. Pascal Kerneis, président du DAG de l'UE. En outre, les membres du DAG ont reçu des mises à jour de la DG COMMERCE de la Commission européenne sur les questions horizontales de commerce et d'investissement avec Singapour ainsi que sur la mise en œuvre du chapitre sur le commerce et le développement durable de l'accord de libre-échange UE-Singapour.

  • 22nd meeting of the EU Advisory Group for the EU-Central America Association Agreement