23 June 2015

What social face of the new EU trade agreements?

Tuesday, 23 June 2015, BRUSSELS

ETUI Monthly Forum in collaboration with the Centre for EU Studies at Ghent University

Tuesday, 23 June 2015, 12h30-14h00

What social face of the new EU trade agreements?

Introduction: Philippe Pochet, General Director, ETUI

Speaker: Pascal Lamy, former EU Trade Commissioner (1999-2004), former Director-General of the World Trade Organization (2005-2013) and currently President Emeritus of Notre Europe and affiliate professor at HEC Paris

Comments: Tom Jenkins, Senior Advisor on External Relations, European Trade Union Confederation; Monica Hencsey, DG Trade, Head of unit Trade and Sustainable Development, Generalized System of Preferences; Lore Van den Putte; Centre for EU Studies at Ghent University

Moderator: Jan Orbie, Professor and Director of the Centre for EU Studies at Ghent University

The social ambition of EU bilateral trade agreements has increased in recent years. Not only does the new generation of trade agreements commit the Parties to the fundamental labour Conventions of the ILO, but there are also provisions to settle disputes by a Panel of Experts, and civil society organizations from both sides have a formal role in monitoring the social commitments. As such, it seems that the EU is strengthening its soft, cooperative approach to promoting labour rights through trade. The goal of this event is to discuss the design as well as the implementation of these FTA provisions. The following questions will be addressed: is the EU’s soft approach preferable over a sanctions-based approach; to what extent and how are civil society and trade unions involved in the negotiations and follow-up of the agreements; and how could the social provisions of EU trade agreements be enhanced in the future?

Venue: Hotel Silken Berlaymont, 11-19 Boulevard Charlemagne, 1000 Brussels

A light lunch will be served from 12h00.
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