The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has adopted at its March plenary session an opinion on the Joint Communication "Connecting Europe and Asia – Building blocks for an EU Strategy", issued by the European Commission and the EU High Representative in September 2018. The EESC considers it to be a seriously missed opportunity, with many significant strategic gaps, little ambition and no real depth of vision offered as to the development of EU's relationship and connectivity with Asia.
Azija in Pacifik
V Aziji EESO sodeluje z organizacijami civilne družbe na Kitajskem, Japonskem, v Singapurju, Južni Koreji in Vietnamu.
Leta 2007 po devetem srečanju na vrhu med EU in Kitajsko je bila vzpostavljena okrogla miza civilne družbe s Kitajsko, ki se sestane enkrat na leto.
Februarja 2009 je bil ustanovljen spremljevalni odbor z Japonsko, ki spremlja civilnodružbeno razsežnost odnosov med EU in Japonsko ter spodbuja sodelovanje med EESO in podjetji, delavskimi, okoljskimi in potrošniškimi organizacijami ter drugimi večjimi japonskimi organizacijami civilne družbe. V okviru sporazuma o gospodarskem partnerstvu med EU in Japonsko je bila ustanovljena notranja svetovalna skupina EU za Japonsko, ki opravlja vlogo spremljanja in svetovanja v skladu s poglavjem o trgovini in trajnostnem razvoju sporazuma o prosti trgovini.
EU je sklenila sporazume o prosti trgovini z naslednjimi azijskimi državami: Južno Korejo (2011), Japonsko (2019), Singapurjem (2019) in Vietnamom (2020). Za te sporazume je značilno, da vključujejo poglavje o trgovini in trajnostnem razvoju, EESO in drugim organizacijam civilne družbe, vključno z organizacijami civilne družbe v partnerskih državah, pa dajejo formalno vlogo, da prek notranjih svetovalnih skupin spremljajo njihovo izvajanje ter svetujejo ustreznim političnim organom na področju okoljskih, socialnih in delovnih standardov ter o drugih vprašanjih, ki so neposredno pomembna za civilno družbo. Vsako leto potekajo dve do tri seje notranjih svetovalnih skupin EU, skupno sejo pa imajo enkrat letno.
Poleg tega EESO ob različnih priložnostih sodeluje s civilno družbo v drugih azijskih državah in pri ustreznih mednarodnih dogodkih.
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.
A DAG-to-DAG is a joint civil society body between the partner countries of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), bringing together the separate DAGs of each party. This is the 2nd joint meeting of the EU and Singapore DAGs under the EU-Singapore FTA.
This meeting was an excellent opportunity for a timely update by DG Trade on the implementation of the Trade and Sustainable Development Chapter under the FTA, as well as for a constructive exchange with the Director of the ILO office in Hanoi on the labour situation in Vietnam and the state of play of the roadmap.
Additionally, Ambassador Vu Anh Quang, from the Vietnamese Mission to the EU, participated in an exchange with the EU Domestic Advisory Group (EU DAG) members to share his views on ongoing topics within the context of the EU Vietnam relations.
The members of the EU DAG, which is composed of representatives of employers' organisations, trade unions and various interest groups, also further discussed its work programme and prepared the upcoming joint meetings with its Vietnamese civil society counterparts.
7th meeting of the EU-Korea Civil Society Forum under the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement and Workshop
The EU DAG and the Korea DAG met for the first time since 2018 to hold the 7th EU-Korea Civil Society Forum (CSF).
This was the first meeting of the EU Domestic Advisory Group (DAG), composed of representatives of employers' organisations, trade unions and various interest groups. At the meeting, the EU DAG received information from the European External Action Service (EEAS) on the EU relations with Vietnam and exchange with representatives of the European Commission's DG TRADE and the European Parliament on the implementation of the Trade and Sustainable Development chapter of the FTA. The EU DAG had also a first discussion on its work programme.
The EESC EU-Japan Follow-up Committee will meet in the morning of 7 January 2021. It will discuss various aspects of EU-Japan relations and set its work programme for the first half of the new mandate.
The EESC EU-Japan Follow-up Committee met the morning of 17 July. Items for discussion on the agenda were: the EU-Japan Relations in the post COVID-19 era and Research and innovation. In addition to this, the Follow-up Committee assessed the current mandate period and reflected on future perspectives.
During the meeting, the members of the Domestic Advisory Group (DAG) of the EU - composed of representatives of employers' organisations, trade unions and various interest groups - followed up on the joint meetings with the Japanese counterparts that took place in Tokyo in January this year. They also discussed the work programme of the EU DAG and topics for future cooperation and dialogue. Additionally, the members of the EU DAG exchanged views with representatives of the European Commission on matters related to the implementation of the trade and sustainable development chapter of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
During the meeting, the composition of the presidency was confirmed. The Group discussed its mandate, and proposed topics ahead of the 2019 Civil Society Forum. Moreover, the EU DAG discussed with representatives of the EC matters related to the implementation of the EU-Korea FTA under three pillars of sustainable development.