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News article1 September 2020Directorate-General for Trade

Study on the European Commission trade department’s Civil Society Dialogue

The European Commission’s trade department (DG Trade) is reviewing its Civil Society Dialogue process.

The study aims to:

  • Assess whether the Civil Society Dialogue (CSD) strategy and purposes remain adequate.
  • Analyse how the CSD in its current format feeds into debates in Member States and vice-versa. The study will comprehensively map consultation mechanisms per Member State. It will identify gaps where Commission action could add value and contribute to national dialogues on international trade in a more structured manner. The study will identify priority countries and intervention areas, recommending how to improve DG Trade's outreach in the EU.

The main tasks will include:

  • Assessing the current CSD strategy.
  • Analysing how the CSD interacts with the trade debate in Member States.
  • Assessing developments in Member States, conducting deeper analysis in 12 Member States and a case study.

The study will run for nine months.

To implement the study, the contractor will consult various interlocutors, including CSD/contact group representatives, Member State permanent representations and authorities, the Secretariat of the European Parliament's Committee on International Trade (INTA), Commission representation offices, civil society organisations in Member States, DG Trade staff and others.

The study will give DG Trade feedback on what the EU is doing right and offer guidance on how to improve the process. It will also help DG Trade to further improve transparency and stakeholder involvement at all levels.

Your opportunity to shape the future Civil Society Dialogue

DG Trade’s study to review the Civil Society Dialogue process is in its final stage. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the survey. The study team is now testing ideas for ways to improve and enhance participation of civil society organisations across the EU Member States. The team has set up an online Bulletin Board (an online discussion), which will run between 17 November and 1 December 2020. You can join the discussion, whenever it suits you, to give your views on the different questions that will be posted over the two-week period.

To participate, you will first need to register here. Closer to when the Board goes live, you will recieve an email with a unique login link. Please note that places are limited, so please register as soon as possible to ensure that you reserve your place. Your feedback will be anonymous. 


Publication date
1 September 2020
Directorate-General for Trade
Trade topics
Policy analysisTrade policy