On the 4th and 5th of October 2016 the first meeting of the EU-Chile Joint Consultative Committee took place in Santiago, Chile. The JCC is contemplated in Article 10 of the EU-Chile Association Agreement and it is the last provision that has yet to be executed. An EESC delegation composed of nine members and presided by Ms. Pavic-Rogošic will be meeting the recently constituted Chilean Council. The rules governing the JCC will be agreed upon during this time and a work program encompassing the priorities of civil society in the relations between the EU and Chile will be defined. The JCC will be constituted at a key time in the relations between both political authorities in the context of the upcoming Modernization of the Association Agreement.
América Latina e Caraíbas
O CESE tem colaborado com organizações homólogas da América Latina e das Caraíbas desde a década de 1990. Vários pareceres do CESE incidiram sobre as relações com esta região, a nível regional, sub regional e nacional. As prioridades do CESE incluem o desenvolvimento de organizações da sociedade civil, o desenvolvimento económico e social, a integração regional e a cooperação na esfera multilateral.
A nível regional, o CESE organiza encontros bienais entre representantes das organizações da sociedade civil da Europa, América Latina e Caraíbas, como um dos eventos preparatórios que antecedem a Cimeira UE-CELAC.
A nível sub-regional e nacional, foram criadas diversas estruturas permanentes: em 2009, o CESE criou uma mesa-redonda da sociedade civil com o Conselho Económico e Social do Brasil, a fim de proporcionar um fórum para o diálogo e a cooperação contínua entre os representantes da sociedade civil brasileira e europeia. O Acordo de Associação UE-Chile atribuiu ao CESE um mandato para a criação de um Comité Consultivo Misto com o seu homólogo da sociedade civil chileno para acompanhar o acordo, que foi finalmente criado em 2016. No que respeita aos países da Comunidade Andina, o CESE participa no Grupo Consultivo Interno que acompanha o acordo de comércio livre UE Colômbia, Peru e Equador. Participa também no Comité Consultivo Cariforum-UE que acompanha o Acordo de Parceria Económica Cariforum-UE. Foram estabelecidas relações permanentes com os homólogos institucionais do CESE no Mercosul (o Fórum Consultivo Económico e Social) e a América Central (o Comité Consultivo do Sistema de Integração da América Central).
During the meeting, the EU DAG had an opportunity to discuss with Mr. Helmut Scholz, Member of the European Parliament, implementation of the Trade and Sustainable Development Title and work of the civil society monitoring mechanism in the framework of the EU-Colombia and Peru Trade Agreement. Moreover, the representatives of the European External Action Service (EEAS) presented information about the EU relations and cooperation with Colombia and Peru. Based on the Second Annual Report, the Commission representative provided information about the implementation of the Trade Agreement, changes in trade flows and work of joint bodies. He also informed about the procedures and timeline related to Ecuador's accession to the Agreement.
Ex-post evaluation of the EPA between the EU and its Member States and the CARIFORUM Member States
The EESC’s activities in Latin America takes place in the framework of European Union (EU) policy on the region and, more specifically, through the strategic partnership between the EU, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), negotiations on association agreements with Central America, Mexico, Chile and Mercosur, the free trade agreement with Peru and Colombia and the EU-Brazil strategic partnership.
"I am also here as a spokesperson for Latin American civil society organisations, who have given me the honourable task of bringing our joint recommendations - civil society recommendations - to our heads of state or government. We produced these recommendations at the 7th EU-Latin America meeting of organised civil society that we held here, in Santiago, in December last year.
We are convinced of the importance for civil society to be at the centre of EULatin America relations. Participation is crucial in order to secure more transparent relations and increased ownership of political and trade exchanges, and also to ensure the more efficient implementation of policies."
Civil society must be at the centre of the EU-Latin America relations. Participation of civil society is crucial in order to have more transparent relations and an increased ownership of political and trade exchanges, and also to have a more efficient implementation of policies. This can be better achieved through the existence of consultative bodies, which is why the EESC has always worked on the creation and strengthening of Latin American consultative institutions.