CLEER Paper 2016/3 - Orbie, Martens, Van den Putte

Civil Society Meetings in European Union Trade Agreements: Features, Purposes, and Evaluation

Jan Orbie, Deborah Martens and Lore Van den Putte

A novelty in the new generation of European Union free trade agreements is the chapter on trade and sustainable development. This includes references to labour and environmental provisions that should be respected in the framework of the agreement as a whole. Civil society organisations have, apparently, been granted an important role in the follow-up and monitoring of these chapters. Civil society meetings have become a standard and quite prominent feature of EU free trade agreements, specifically with a view to promoting labour and environmental principles. In this CLEER Paper, we address three basic questions about these meetings: (1) how do they look like (features), (2) what are they for (purposes), and (3) how can we evaluate them (assessment)?

Jan Orbie is Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science and Director of the Centre for EU Studies at Ghent University (Belgium).

Deborah Martens is a PhD researcher at the Centre for EU Studies at Ghent University (Belgium).

Lore Van den Putte is a PhD researcher from the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) at the Centre for EU Studies at Ghent University (Belgium).

Download more information

Executive Summary_CLEER paper_Civil society meetings in EU FTAs_features, purposes and evalution.pdf