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.
V Aziji EESO sodeluje z organizacijami civilne družbe na Kitajskem, Japonskem in v Južni Koreji. Leta 2007 po devetem srečanju na vrhu med EU in Kitajsko je bila vzpostavljena uradna okrogla miza civilne družbe s Kitajsko, ki se sestane vsaj enkrat na leto. V zadnjih letih je Odbor v skladu s sporazumom o prosti trgovini med EU in Japonsko, ki civilni družbi dodeljuje spremljevalno in svetovalno vlogo, vlagal v razvoj tesnejših odnosov z organizirano civilno družbo na Japonskem.
Sporazum o prosti trgovini med EU in Republiko Korejo, ki je začel veljati leta 2011, je bil prvi v t. i. novi generaciji trgovinskih sporazumov EU. Za te sporazume je značilno, da vključujejo poglavje o trgovini in trajnostnem razvoju, EESO in organizacijam civilne družbe v Koreji pa dajejo formalno vlogo pri spremljanju izvajanja teh sporazumov in svetovanju ustreznim političnim organom na področju okoljskih, socialnih in delovnih standardov ter o drugih vprašanjih, ki so neposredno pomembna za civilno družbo. Notranja svetovalna skupina EU se vsako leto sestane trikrat; skupna seja poteka enkrat na leto.
Poleg tega EESO sodeluje s civilno družbo v drugih azijskih državah in pri ustreznih mednarodnih ad hoc dogodkih, kot je forum državljanov Azije in Evrope, organiziran dvakrat na leto, tj. medregionalna platforma civilne družbe, ki je del azijsko-evropskega srečanja.
This is 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 will receive 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 will also have 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.
During the meeting, the Chair of the EU DAG under the new mandate was elected. The Group also discussed its mandate, working methods, reporting procedures and cooperation with other civil society organisations, as well as exchanged views on its rules of procedure and assess possible amendments . 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.
The 16th EU-China Civil Society Round Table will take place in Varna, Bulgaria from 28 May to 29 May 2018.
The topics of the Round Table meeting will be the following: Social security and social solidarity mechanisms, and trade and investment as part of EU-China relations. In the fringes of the Round Table, a tripartite seminar on EU-China Tourism Year 2018 will be organised.
During the 6th EU-Korea Civil Society Forum (CSF), participants discussed labour standards with the ILO representative, including progress achieved by both Parties to the Agreement as well as the next steps in the ratification and effective implementation of the ILO fundamental and other up-to-date conventions. Both DAGs also exchanged information about the role of civil society in the EU and the Republic of Korea in the development and implementation of the climate change policy at national, EU and international level. They then adopted final conclusions.