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Sustainable development | Brussels, 6 October 2017

Commissioner Malmström meets with civil society on trade and sustainable development issues

Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström today welcomed 70 participants from a range of different civil society organisations to the trade department of the European Commission in Brussels to discuss trade and sustainable development.

This event is part of an ongoing series of engagements with stakeholders on how to make the trade and sustainable development chapters of trade agreements more effective. It builds on the ongoing debate with members of the European Parliament, the Council and interested parties at the national level.

Commissioner Malmström said, “I think that the most fundamental issue is: what is actually working and what isn’t, and what tools do we need to address that? We have to remember that enforcement is not an end in itself, but a means to strengthen legislation and improve effective implementation of labour and environmental standards.”

Of the attendees there were 20 representatives from NGOs, 30 from trade and business associations, 11 from trade unions and professional associations and nine from various public or semi-public think tanks and other institutions.

Topics discussed included:

  • how to improve the involvement of civil society in the monitoring of the implementation of trade agreements;
  • how to bring up complaints related to trade and sustainable development;
  • capacity building in partner countries and the links with development policy, as well as;
  • the links between trade deals and the United Nations and the International Labour Organisation and how to reinforce the system at the multilateral level.

Read her full speech 

Link to the video webstream

Some photos