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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 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

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

  • The EU and the Japan Domestic Advisory Groups (DAGs), established under the Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) chapter of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), attended the 3rd EU-Japan Joint Dialogue with Civil Society, which took place in virtual format on 27 January 2022.

  • 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 met in a so called DAG-to-DAG meeting on 9 November 2021.

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

  • 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.

  • The 15th meeting of the EU Advisory Group for the EU-Colombia, Peru and Ecuador Free Trade Agreement is held on 29 April 2021 via video-conference.

  • The 19th meeting of the EU Advisory Group for the EU-Central America Association Agreement took place virtually on 18 March 2021.

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    Video-conference

    The 6th meeting of the EU-Central America joint meeting of civil society Advisory Groups and Civil Society Dialogue Forum took place on 12 and 13 November 2020 virtually.

    On Friday 13 November 2020,the Advisory Groups of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, together with the European Union Advisory Group, met to debate and  address the concerns of all sectors represented in them, also taking into account the challenges ahead in the awake of the COVID-19 crisis on the two regions, and make recommendations to the Trade and Sustainable Development Board.