Our Staff Reporter
Published Date: Dec 12, 2017
Civil society can play vital role in FTAs
ISLAMABAD: The involvement of civil society in Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) was crucial for sustainable development.
This was stated by Prof. Dr. J. Orbie, Director of the Centre for EU Studies, said this while delivering his special lecture on: ‘The role of civil society organizations in EU trade agreements’ held at Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday.
He, however, said this role was yet to become more elaborated and stressed the need for structured and regular dialogue to make the process more effective.
Prof. Dr. J. Orbie said while exploring European markets through EU FTAs, Pakistan should ascertain the role of civil society as well as its effectiveness in recommending institutional and legal changes.
Referring to his study on the topic, he said that his findings critically reflected on the involvement of civil society actors in the sustainable development chapters of recent EU trade agreements.
Prof. Dr. J. Orbie observed that starting from a critical perspective and drawing on evidence from innovative survey data, qualitative interviews and participatory observations, the report concluded that, despite overall criticism, there is no clear evidence of co-optation.
He said that the recent trade agreements concluded by the European Union include an elaborate chapter on ‘sustainable development’, which was a key element of the EU’s cooperative approach to promoting sustainable development through trade agreements are the civil society dialogues.