First meeting of the EU-Chile Joint Consultative Committee
Santiago de Chile, 4 and 5 October 2016
The EU-Chile Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) is a permanent body for consultation between civil society in Chile and the EU, as set out in Article 10 of the EU-Chile Association Agreement (AA) signed in 2002. It is made up of members of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and of members of organisations representing Chilean civil society.
The JCC held its first meeting in Santiago de Chile on 4 and 5 October 2016. During the meeting, the JCC’s Rules of Procedure were set out, a joint work programme was drawn up and the role that the JCC will play within the AA and more generally in relations between the European Union Chile was clarified.
· welcomes the establishment of the JCC, a move which implements the final provision of an institutional nature in the AA and provides a forum for civil society in the contracting party countries where it can contribute to relations between Chile and the EU.
· also thanks the Association Council for the commitment it showed to establishing the JCC at the meeting in April 2015.
· thanks the EU-Chile Parliamentary Assembly for the support it has given over the years in promoting the establishment of the JCC.
· highlights the successful conclusion of the first meeting of the JCC and thanks the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Relations for its help in organising the meeting.
· believes that this JCC will be able to make a valuable contribution to work between the EU and Chile.
2. Objectives, Rules and Work Plan
· affirms the commitment of all of the Committee's representatives to making the JCC a constructive mechanism that will contribute to strengthening ties and coordinating efforts in line with the interests of organised civil society.
· hopes that the JCC will address key economic and social issues in relations between the European Union and Chile, including trade, investment, impact assessments, industrial relations, inequality, cooperation, human rights, the environment and climate change.
· has agreed its Rules of Procedure in line with what was agreed under Article 10(4) of the AA and is convinced that this represents a good basis for joint work. The aforementioned regulation is attached in an Appendix to this declaration.
· has developed a joint work plan that includes the Sustainable Development Goals, the 2030 Agenda, social and civil dialogue, harmonising agricultural standards, the free movement of people, urban development, vocational education and training, human rights, gender equality, inequality, consumer rights, the circular economy and informal trade among its main topics of shared interest.
· recalls that these topics will be addressed during future meetings, without prejudice to the consultations or topics that the Association Council sends to the JCC as part of its mandate as a consultative body, and which will be considered as a priority.
3. Updating the Association Agreement:
· welcomes the steps taken to update the AA.
· asks to be included in the aforementioned updating process, and therefore asks to be consulted by the contracting parties and to have the opportunity to express its opinion on the content.
· in this regard, highlights the importance of including a chapter on trade and sustainable development in the new version of the AA, in line with the free trade agreements negotiated in recent years.
· urges both negotiating parties to maintain the structure and role of the JCC, as the only structured civil society monitoring mechanism, for the entire duration of the future agreement, including its chapter on trade.