European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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12 September 2017, European Economic and Social Committee, Rue Van Maerlant 2, 1040 Brussels, Room VM3; 13h-14h30

Can trade and investment agreements promote decent work?

Presentation of three research projects and a roundtable discussion


How to assess the impact of trade and investment agreements on decent work, Martin Myant, Senior Researcher and Head of Unit European Economic, Employment and Social Policy, ETUI

Do labour provisions in trade agreements reach workers and improve working conditions around the world? Adrian Smith, Professor of Human Geography, Queen Mary University of London

Labour clauses in trade agreements: worker protection or protectionism? Damian Raess, Assistant Professor University of Bern and University of Reading and Dora Sari, research fellow at the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard University

Roundtable discussion on future of trade agreements and trade union approaches to them, with Liina Carr, ETUC Confederal Secretary

Moderator: Philippe Pochet, General Director ETUI

Briefing: Trade and investment agreements have been taking over as a driving force for liberalisation of trade and protection of business in its international operations. Over 250 trade agreements were signed between 1995 and 2016, some between pairs of countries and others involving regional groupings. Despite some apparent opposition to past and future trade agreements, there is every likelihood of pressure for more in the future.

Trade unions and others need to understand what lies behind these developments and to assess past efforts to ensure that labour rights are respected and strengthened as a basis for influencing future forms and supporting a fair globalisation that brings benefits to all. This event enables the authors of three research projects to present the implications of their work and to debate with trade union representatives the results and prospects of trade and investment agreements.

Please register before 8 September here. The event will take place in Room VM3 of the EESC (Rue Van Maerlant 2, 1040 Brussels). For security reasons you will be requested to present your ID or passport at the entrance of the building. A light lunch will be offered at 12h30.

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