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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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Goedgekeurd on 10/12/2014
Referentie: 
REX/431-EESC-0000
Zitting: 
503 -
Dec 10, 2014 Dec 11, 2014

Opinion on the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on protection against subsidised imports from countries not members of the European Union (codification)

Protection against subsidised imports from countries not members of the European Union

Goedgekeurd on 29/03/2017
Referentie: 
REX/483-EESC-2017
Zitting: 
524 -
Mar 29, 2017 Mar 30, 2017

The EESC is committed to open and fair trade and recognises its value as a driver of growth and jobs. Therefore, the EESC calls for a level playing field between European and third country exporting producers, and for effective trade defence instruments. The EESC supports the Commission's proposal that the dumping margin should be calculated not using the standard methodology, but on the basis of benchmarks that take account of significantly distorted production and sale costs. The EESC points out that in its 2016 opinion on preserving sustainable jobs and growth in the steel industry, it already called for the standard methodology not to be used in anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations into Chinese imports as long as the country failed to meet the EU's five criteria for market economy status. The EESC welcomes the Commission's intention of using specific criteria to determine whether there are significant distortions in the market situation.

advies EESC: REX/483 - Trade Defence Instruments – methodology

Goedgekeurd on 04/01/2010
Referentie: 
REX/273-EESC-0000
Zitting: 
458 -
Dec 16, 2009 Dec 17, 2009

In the Committee's view, the right to food is a fundamental citizenship right, as is the right of civil society to intervene in all aspects of this issue; moreover, it considers global food security to be a fundamental human right.

Trade and Food Security

Goedgekeurd on 18/03/2015
Referentie: 
REX/444-EESC-0000
Zitting: 
506 -
Mar 18, 2015 Mar 19, 2015

Opinion on the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council protecting against the effects of the extra-territorial application of legislation adopted by a third country and actions based thereon or resulting therefrom (recast)

Protection against the effects of the extra-territorial application of legislation adopted by a third country

Goedgekeurd on 21/09/2016
Referentie: 
REX/464-EESC-0000
Zitting: 
519 -
Sep 21, 2016 Sep 22, 2016

The EESC has played an important role in strengthening an informed civil society debate on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) through a number of TTIP-related opinions, adopted in 2014 and 2015, covering issues such as labour rights, investment protection, impact on SMEs, among others.

It is important under the present circumstances that the EESC, in order to maintain its position as a key civil society player in the TTIP debate, react to the textual proposals for TTIP negotiations on essential topics such as the sustainable development chapter, regulatory cooperation, investment and services. This will have the advantage not only of setting up the EESC position on major negotiating chapters but also of presenting concrete recommendations and pointing out the need to involve civil society in the implementation of those chapters.

The position of the EESC on specific key issues of the TTIP

Goedgekeurd on 04/06/2014
Referentie: 
REX/390-EESC-2014-5469
Zitting: 
499 -
Jun 04, 2014 Jun 05, 2014

The main goal of the opinion is to provide a good and qualitative source of information and opinion in the beginning of TTIP negotiations process.

Transatlantic trade relations and the EESC's views on an enhanced cooperation and eventual EU-US FTA

Goedgekeurd on 02/07/2015
Referentie: 
REX/433-EESC-0000
Zitting: 
509 -
Jul 01, 2015 Jul 02, 2015

The own-initiative opinion will focus on the impact of the TTIP on SMEs and reflect on the provisions that would need to be included in the TTIP in order to take account of the specific character of SMEs in the negotiations and implementation of an eventual EU-US agreement. The opinion will also look at how to increase the awareness of SMEs as to existing support services and programmes, and particularly about the new business opportunities that may arise with this agreement.

TTIP and its impact on SMEs

Goedgekeurd on 29/09/2014
Referentie: 
REX/410-EESC-2015-eesc-2014-04461-00-01-ac-tra
Zitting: 
506 -
Mar 18, 2015 Mar 19, 2015

The EESC opinion will be dedicated to standalone investment agreements, with a particular emphasis on issues related to sustainable development and civil society involvement. It will contribute to the on-going discussion on the content and level of ambition of sustainable development chapters in the EU standalone investment agreements, as well as on civil society role in the course of negotiations and at the implementation stage.

advies EESC: Role for sustainable development and civil society involvement in stand-alone EU investment agreements with third countries

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