EaP trade union leaders visit to EU institutions

The PERC, in cooperation with the FGTB, has organized a high-level visit of trade union leaders from Eastern Partnership countries to EU institutions, on 14 – 15 May 2013. During the visit the delegation visited the European Parliament and met with Ms Laima Liucija Andrikiene, the Chair of INTA (EU Parliament International Trade Committee) Monitoring Group for the South Caucasus, and Mr Iuliu Winkler (EPP, Romania), Rapporteur for Moldova, and Bernd Lange, spokesperson of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats on trade issues.

The Members of the European Parliament presented the monitoring work of the Parliament on the negotiating processes with Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTA). The members of the delegation presented the situation in their countries, their expectation from the EU cooperation processes and in particular deficiencies of labour rights implementation.

The delegation also visited European Union External Action Service and discussed Eastern Partnership processes and opportunities, both on multilateral and on bilateral basis. It expressed its view on the work of the EaP Civil Society forum and the necessity to establish within the Eastern Partnership a separate sub-platform on social and labour dimension of economic cooperation, to which the newly established social dialog working group could contribute, being the voice of social partners in this sub-platform.

At a meeting with Luc Devigne, Head of Unit in DG Trade responsible for DCFTA negotiations, the delegation was presented with the state of affairs in negotiations and in particular the intention to finalise all the agreement by the time of Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius in November this year. The delegation members informed about the labour rights situation in their countries and the expectations about joining free trade area and how the negotiation processes could improve the position of workers in the countries.