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.

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    The EU-Chile Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) will hold its 9th meeting from 21 to 23/11/2023

  • The second All DAG meeting will take place on 12 July 2022 in Brussels, in hybrid format.

    Convening shortly after the EC Communication on TSD, which recognised its geopolitical importance and its role in fostering sustainable and inclusive growth, members from all EU DAGs will discuss the present and the future of the DAGs as key actors of TSD implementation, in the presence of Ms. Maria Martin-Prat and Mr. Denis Redonnet, Deputy Director-Generals of DG Trade (EC) and other prominent institutional representatives. 

  • L’objectif de ce forum était d’éliminer les cloisonnements pour encourager des débats inclusifs et interactifs entre les institutions, le monde académique et la société civile, tous sur un pied d’égalité. Lors de cette manifestation, des sujets liés au commerce et au développement durable (CDD) ont été abordés - des droits fondamentaux à la bonne exécution, en passant par la surveillance, et plus encore. L’objectif était d’alimenter les réflexions en cours sur l’avenir de la politique de l’Union européenne de CDD en idées novatrices et en recommandations concrètes dans le double cadre du réexamen du plan d’action en 15 points et des derniers développements en matière de commerce et de durabilité réalisés en dehors des frontières de l’Union européenne.

  • Le webinaire se déroulera dans le cadre du comité de suivi du commerce international du CESE, en coopération avec la section INT du CESE et explorera le thème des "chaînes d'approvisionnement et le cas de la relocalisation".

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    7th joint meeting of the EU Domestic Advisory Group and representatives from the domestic mechanisms of Colombia, Peru and Ecuador and Civil Society Open Session

  • 16th meeting of the Domestic Advisory Group for the EU-Colombia, Peru and Ecuador FTA

  • L'UE et les groupes consultatifs nationaux (DAG) du Japon, établis dans le cadre du chapitre sur le commerce et le développement durable (TSD) de l'accord de partenariat économique (APE) UE-Japon, ont participé au 3e dialogue conjoint UE-Japon avec la société civile, qui s'est tenu en format virtuel le 27 janvier 2022.

    Des représentants de la société civile issus d'organisations syndicales et commerciales, de groupes environnementaux et d'autres organisations de la société civile de l'UE et du Japon ont été invités à se joindre et à échanger entre eux, ainsi qu'avec des fonctionnaires de la Commission européenne et du gouvernement du Japon, le les questions liées à la mise en œuvre des dispositions sur le commerce et le développement durable de l'accord de partenariat économique UE-Japon.

  • The EU and the Vietnam Domestic Advisory Groups (DAGs), established under the Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) chapter of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement will meet in a so called DAG-to-DAG meeting on 9 November 2021.

    DAG-to-DAG meetings allow for civil society organisations, members of the DAGs, involved on a regular basis in the monitoring exercises of the TSD chapter, to come together and exchange views on implementation issues. In this 1st DAG-to-DAG meeting under the EU‑Vietnam FTA, besides the preparations for the First EU-Vietnam Joint Forum with Civil Society of 12 November, which will be open to broader civil society participation, the members will most importantly get to know each other and exchange views on the work programme of the first mandate and consider possible common topics for future work.

    At the occasion of the DAG-to-DAG meeting, a workshop will also be organized on the Greening of the economy and its impact on trade relations, followed by discussions.

  • This preparatory meeting is taking place ahead of the joint meetings with the Vietnamese counterparts scheduled for the second week of November. It will also give the EU DAG the opportunity to receive un update from DG Trade on the implementation of the FTA as well as a timely update on TSD-related issues and implementation.

    As part of their preparation ahead of the joint meetings, the members of the EU DAG will present the papers drafted by the working groups within the work programme for the mandate 2020-2023.

  • The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (FTA) envisages that DAG members of each Party meet together at a Civil Society Forum to conduct a dialogue encompassing sustainable development aspects of trade relations between the Parties. Representatives from trade unions, business organisations, environmental groups and other civil society organisations are invited to the online public session of the Joint Forum under the Trade Agreement between the European Union and Vietnam. Participants will have the chance to exchange views on matters related to the implementation of the Trade and Sustainable Development Chapter of the EU-Vietnam Trade Agreement.