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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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During the meeting, the Commission representative will provide information about the ex-post evaluation of the EU-Korea FTA, as an example of an evaluation of a trade agreement being in force. A similar evaluation of the implementation of the trade pillar of the EU-Central America Association Agreement is scheduled for 2018 and the EU Advisory Group would like to prepare for its future contribution to that process. The Commission will also discuss with the Group the follow-up to the meetings with Central America held in Honduras in June 2016 and the preparation for next year's meetings, which will take place in Brussels. The Group may also have an opportunity to discuss with the ILO representatives implementation of the project related to respect for labour standards, funded by the EU and delivered by the ILO in El Salvador and Guatemala.

26/09/2016
9:00-13:00 Room JDE 63

In the light of the agreement in principle reached in July 2017 between the EU and Japan on an Economic Partnership Agreement, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)'s Follow-up Committees on International Trade and Japan are taking the opportunity to organise a half-day joint seminar. The seminar aims at examining the significance of the EU-Japan Agreement in the global context, reflecting on the role that civil society may play in the implementation of such agreement, and aims to assess possible challenges and benefits for different stakeholders (the business community, workers, farmers, consumers, etc.).

26/10/2017
Position paper
4 pages

The business sector in Europe believes a deep and comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) can further enhance this economic relationship and ensure that everyone enjoys the benefits of trade and investment ties more fully.

The document is a summary of the discussion on the Impact of the TTIP in Malta, which took place in Valletta, Malta on 9 March 2015. The meeting was organised together with the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry.

Published in: 
2015
4 pages

This publication presents the priorities of the Employers' Group for 2019. The EU is facing exceptional economic and political challenges. At the same time rapid development of revolutionaly technologies, demographic changes and transition towards a low carbon and circular economy are transforming our societies.

Published in: 
2018
6 pages

To enable businesses to perform this role, the EU must provide conditions that make European businesses more competitive, encourage entrepreneurship and ensure favourable conditions for them to innovate, invest, operate and trade. This calls for a business environment that helps prepare for the future, is based on open markets and fair competition and provides enabling and supportive conditions for doing business

Published in: 
2018

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