The EESC's External Relations section (REX) is tasked with monitoring the EU's external activities through a dialogue with civil society organisations from the non-EU countries and regions with which the EU has formal relations. The Section also actively follows the EU's trade and development policies.
- The REX section has a number of Follow-up Committees composed of EESC Members, that observe developments and steer the REX work in these different areas.
- Joint Consultative Committees (JCCs) are composed by EESC Members and civil society organisations of a country with which the EU has signed an Association Agreement or similar accord. Their task is to adopt recommendations by civil society representatives on different aspects connected with bilateral relations. Consultative Committees have a similar role, but they concern a group of countries rather than a single one.
- Civil Society Platforms are similar to JCCs, but their EU membership includes other European civil society organisations, in addition to the EESC. They stem from Association Agreements with Eastern Partners.
- The EESC engaged in a Round Table with the Economic and Social Council of China.
- Domestic Advisory Groups (DAGs) are bodies set up in the framework of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) or free trade chapters within Association Agreements. They have the task of advising the Commission's DG TRADE on Trade and Sustainable Development chapters of FTAs. They aren't bilateral bodies; the counter-parts to FTAs with the EU have their own DAGs advising their respective national governments. Both the EU DAGs and their counter-parts may organise DAG-to-DAG meetings. The EESC (REX section) functions as a Secretariat for EU DAGs.