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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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    EU-Central America joint meeting of civil society Advisory Groups and Civil Society Dialogue Forum

  • On 8 March 2023, the fifth meeting of the EU Domestic Advisory Group was held in a hybrid format. One of the objectives of the meeting was to prepare the European side for the upcoming joint meeting with the Singapore DAG.

  • 12 December 2022 - Hybrid Brussels

     

     

  • 18th meeting of the EU - DAG Colombia-Peru-Ecuador

    17 October 2022 - Hybrid Brussels

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    8th joint meeting of the EU DAG and representatives from the domestic mechanisms of Colombia, Peru and Ecuador and Civil Society Open Session

    28 October 2022 - Virtual

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    Discussion on civil society role under the modernized Association Agreement (AA) confirmed a strong commitment of both sides to continue working together as JCC. The JCC approved the Joint Declaration.

  • 12 July 2022 - Hybrid - Room JDE52

    The 2nd meeting of the All DAGs (Domestic Advisory Groups) takes place on 12 July 10 a.m. in a Hybrid format at the EESC premises (room JDE52). This is very timely following the recent adoption of the European Commission Communication on the Trade and Sustainable Development Review (TSD). This meeting will look at the state of play and future of the Domestic Advisory Groups (DAGs) under the EU Free Trade Agreements, as well as the important role of trade and sustainability in promoting fair and inclusive growth worldwide and resilient supply chains.

  • Breaking down the silos

    The Forum aimed to break down the silos and enable inclusive and interactive debates between institutions, academia and civil society, all on an equal footing. The event covered topics relevant to trade and sustainable development (TSD) – from substantive rights through monitoring to enforcement and much more. The ambition was to feed innovative ideas and concrete recommendations to the ongoing reflections on the future of EU TSD policy, in the double context of the review of the 15-point action plan and recent trade and sustainability developments outside the EU.

  • The webinar will take place in the context of the EESC International Trade Follow-up Committee, in cooperation with the EESC INT Section and will explore the topic of 'Supply chains and the case of reshoring'. 

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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