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WIDE consultation: ’Bilateral and regional trade agreements and gender’

WIDE consultation day ’Bilateral and regional trade agreements and gender’

EU bilateral and regional free trade agreements - bringing women to the centre of the debate

22 November 2007, Amazone, Brussels, Belgium

WIDE organises a one-day consultation on EU bilateral and regional free trade agreements and gender. This day aims at providing space for critical reflection and debate on opportunities, challenges, strategies and diverse policy options related to gender and EU trade liberalisation.

The new EU trade strategy (Global Europe: Competing in the world, October 2006), which lays out the European Commissions’ vision for a new generation of ambitious, competitiveness-driven bilateral and regional free trade agreements with key partners in the world forms the boarder reference framework of this consultation. We will analyse and debate the EU’s trade strategy with its main objective to promote EU’s competitiveness, its relation to development and poverty eradication and its impacts on women’s rights, entitlements and livelihoods. As the strategy is in full implementation mode we will showcase the EU-ASEAN free trade negotiations, the EU-Ukraine trade relations and the EU-Central America association agreement negotiations to raise gender-related matters in this context.

The participatory format of the meeting will allow alternating information sharing (panels) with debating and strategising (working groups). We see this meeting as an opportunity to share experiences, network, strategise as well as to engage in dialogue with EU policy makers in order to highlight a critical feminist perspective in the EU trade debate.

The consultation is part of the WIDE one-year project entitled: "EU trade policies ­ bringing women to the centre of the debate", sponsored by the European Commission, DG Trade. The overall aim of the project is to raise awareness and create an enhanced understanding on the impacts of (EU) trade polices on women’s livelihoods, gender equality and social justice in partner countries.

As part of this project WIDE had organised in April 2007 a two-days capacity building workshop for WIDE network members on gender and EU trade issues, and more specifically on the new EU trade strategy. Three information sheets focusing on the EU-ASEAN, the EU-Central America and the EU-Ukraine trade relations and gender are also being published and will serve as background reading for the consultation.

Programme and registration information are available here:

 source: WIDE