During the meeting, the members of the DAG debriefed on the results of the meeting with Colombia and Peru under the Trade and Sustainable Development Title, which took place on 7-8 December in Brussels . The representatives of the European External Action Service (EEAS) presented information about the EU relations and cooperation with Colombia and Peru. The Representatives of the DG Trade informed the members of the DAG on recent developments regarding the Trade and Sustainable development chapter as well as on their recent mission to Ecuador. The Group held then an internal debate on the topics to be selected for the next joint meetings, on the state of play of constitution of DAGs in Colombia and Peru and on the rights of indigene communities in Peru.
Latinamerika och Västindien
The EESC has been working with Latin American and Caribbean counterpart organisations since the 1990s. Several EESC's opinions have focused on relations with this region, at regional, sub-regional and national level. The EESC's priorities include the development of civil society organisations, economic and social development, regional integration and cooperation in the multilateral sphere.
At a regional level, the EESC organises biennial meetings between civil society organisation representatives in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, as one of the preparatory events prior to the EU-CELAC Summit.
At sub-regional and national level, several permanent structures have been set up: In 2009, the EESC set up a civil society Round Table with the Brazilian Economic and Social Council to provide a forum for dialogue and continuous cooperation between representatives of Brazilian and European civil society. The EU-Chile Association Agreement gave the Committee a mandate to establish a Joint Consultative Committee with its Chilean civil society counterpart in order to monitor the agreement, which was finally set up in 2016. As regards the Andean Community countries, the EESC takes part in the Domestic Advisory Group monitoring the EU-Colombia/Peru/Ecuador free trade agreement. It also participates in the EU-Cariforum Joint Committee that monitors the EU-Cariforum Economic Partnership Agreement. Permanent relations have been established with the EESC's institutional counterparts in Mercosur (the Economic and Social Consultative Forum) and Central America (the Consultative Committee of the Central American Integration System).
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) will celebrate its Ninth meeting of European Union, Latin American and Caribbean Organised Civil Society in Panama City on 3 and 4 October 2017. The meeting will take place within the framework of the preparation of the 9th Summit of Heads of State or Government of the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean and will enable the development of dialogue between civil society organizations in the EU and LAC, promote the strengthening of these organizations and bring to light the point of view of organized civil society before the Heads of State.
The event will bring together 120 participants, including EESC members, organized civil society representatives from Latin American and the Caribbean, as well as guest speakers. The topics for discussion include multilateralism, open and fair trade, and decent work and the preservation of the environment as pillars of sustainable development.
During the meeting, members of the GCI were informed by the President on the civil society meeting of EuroLat's standing parliamentary committees (22-24 May), the hearing in the Walloon Parliament concerning the current state of The EU-Colombia, Peru and the FTA of Ecuador, as well as the public with DG Trade on the current status of the Advisory Groups. They were then interviewed by the European Commission on the preparation of the 2017 Civil Society Forum and the process of Ecuador's accession to the agreement.
4ª reunión conjunta de los grupos asesores nacionales de la UE, Colombia, Perú y Ecuador y sesión abierta
On 6 and 7 December 2018, the third meeting of the EU-Chile Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee (JCC), established by the EU-Chile Association Agreement was held in Santiago de Chile. The members discussed topics of interest for both parties, such as investment and cooperation, decent work and informal economy, the Sustainable Development Agenda and proposals to reinforce the role of the Joint Consultative Committee. They adopted a Final Declaration on these four topics.
The JCC is made up of eighteen members, nine from the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and nine from Chilean civil society organisations. It is co-chaired by Josep Puxeu Rocamora, EESC member, and Roberto Zúñiga Belauzarán, Director, National Confederation of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (CONAPYME).
During the meeting, the EU Domestic Advisory Group (EU DAG) and civil society representatives from Colombia, Peru and Ecuador discussed implementation of the Trade and Sustainable Development Title of the Trade Agreement, with a particular focus on respect for international labour and environmental standards. They also discussed economic, social, environmental and human rights impacts resulting from the implementation of the Agreement. The participants reflected moreover on how the civil society from the EU, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador can cooperate to promote sustainable development in the context of trade relations and prepare for the next joint meeting. The participants adopted a joint declaration summarising outcomes of their discussion and presented it to the Parties during the Open Session with civil society on 12 December.
During the meeting, the EU Domestic Advisory Group (EU DAG) and civil society representatives from the Colombia DAG, Peru Domestic Mechanism and Ecuador DAG discussed the implementation of the Trade and Sustainable Development Title of the Trade Agreement, with a particular focus on respect for international labour and environmental standards. They also discussed economic, social, environmental and human rights impacts resulting from the implementation of the Agreement. The participants reflected on how the civil society from the EU, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador can cooperate to promote sustainable development in the context of trade relations and prepare for the next joint meeting.
The Latin America Follow up Committee of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held a Hearing on the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement: The views of organized civil society on 13 of November 2019.
The main purpose of the debate was to:
- Assess the opportunities and challenges ahead of the implementation of the Agreement;
- Evaluate compromises and possible impacts of the Trade and Sustainable Development Chapter of the Agreement;
- Explore how the civil society and consultative structures should monitor the impact of the Association Agreement in terms of improving human rights and labour, social and environmental rights as well as a strict compliance with international conventions or agreements the parties have committed to.
During the meeting, the EU DAG had an opportunity to discuss with Mr. Helmut Scholz, Member of the European Parliament, implementation of the Trade and Sustainable Development Title and work of the civil society monitoring mechanism in the framework of the EU-Colombia and Peru Trade Agreement. Moreover, the representatives of the European External Action Service (EEAS) presented information about the EU relations and cooperation with Colombia and Peru. Based on the Second Annual Report, the Commission representative provided information about the implementation of the Trade Agreement, changes in trade flows and work of joint bodies. He also informed about the procedures and timeline related to Ecuador's accession to the Agreement.
On the 4th and 5th of October 2016 the first meeting of the EU-Chile Joint Consultative Committee took place in Santiago, Chile. The JCC is contemplated in Article 10 of the EU-Chile Association Agreement and it is the last provision that has yet to be executed. An EESC delegation composed of nine members and presided by Ms. Pavic-Rogošic will be meeting the recently constituted Chilean Council. The rules governing the JCC will be agreed upon during this time and a work program encompassing the priorities of civil society in the relations between the EU and Chile will be defined. The JCC will be constituted at a key time in the relations between both political authorities in the context of the upcoming Modernization of the Association Agreement.