At its October plenary session, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted an opinion on the EU's approach to Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) and reviewing its 15-point action plan.
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After the first ever All DAGs meeting held in July as a ground-breaking step towards increasing impact, the chairs and vice-chairs of the civil society bodies advising on trade and sustainable development are starting to roll out recommendations to strengthen DAGs and deliver a clear message to the European Commission.
The situation of civil society in Belarus following the presidential elections in August 2020 and the huge level of repression, as well as the tragic fate of the people in Afghanistan, show that the EU has to speak up with one voice in the geopolitical arena.
The EESC's Western Balkans Civil Society Forum, which took place in Skopje on 30 September and 1 October, put the spotlight on the need for a clear EU accession perspective for the region and the role civil society should play in this process.
Building talent partnerships with countries of origin and transit is a key policy in addressing migration. Europe has to shift the focus of migration policy's external dimension and make it part of a broader geopolitical and geo-economic agenda that will be given its rightful place other policies. Otherwise, the new pact will be too weak to deal with the rising numbers of migration flows.
The new trade strategy launched by the Commission in February brings engaging principles to the table that will support the EU in achieving its domestic and external policy objectives. The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) welcomes this trade strategy as a way of improving market access and levelling the playing field. Alongside this, the modernisation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will be the key to delivering for future generations.
The EESC's Transatlantic Relations Follow-up Committee met just days ahead of the high‑level EU-US summit, marking the importance of civil society's transatlantic dialogue. Amongst a wide range of subjects to work together on, the meeting put special emphasis on issues of climate change and trade.
It is with deep regret and concern that the Members of the EU Domestic Advisory Group (DAG), established under the Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) Chapter (Chapter 13) of the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam (EVFTA), note the late cancellation of the first Trade and Sustainable Development Committee and the first Joint forum between European and Vietnamese civil society, due to take place this week.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) hosted on 12 April the 7th meeting of the EU-Korea Civil Society Forum, an online event that gathered civil society representatives to discuss on labour-related issues, including working hours, civil dialogue and the state of play of the implementation of international standards and conventions (ILO). Participants also celebrated the 10th anniversary of the implementation of the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
In a debate at the EESC plenary session on 25 March, the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for an Economy that Works for People, Valdis Dombrovskis said that most of the national recovery and resilience plans (RRPs) are still at an early stage and that "there is still a lot of work to do before the plans are mature enough". He also stressed that trade policy has a key role to play in getting the EU economy back on track.