Scottish voluntary organisations are invited to join two new structures for civil society to engage with decision-makers on the EU/UK Trade & Cooperation Agreement
The UK Government recently held a consultation on engagement with civil society on the implementation of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the UK and EU. The TCA creates two structures for civil society to engage with decision makers on the new relationship between the UK and the EU, its implementation, and its impact on communities:
- A Domestic Advisory Group (DAG) for discussion at the UK level between stakeholders and the UK Government.
- A UK / EU Civil Society Forum (CSF) at the transnational level for civic society dialogue between the UK and EU that would meet once per year.
SCVO worked with its sister councils (WCVA, NVCO and NICVA) and additional stakeholders to produce a four nations’ sector response. In terms of the DAG and CSF, our response asked for the voluntary sector to have the same level of representation as the other parts of UK civil society, and for devolved voices to be heard.
Candidate organisations for the UK DAG membership must have specific professional expertise or competence in the areas covered by the entire Trade and Cooperation Agreement. The call for expressions of interest states that ‘the Domestic Advisory Group will gather representatives of the civil society of the United Kingdom, namely ‘non-governmental organisations, business and employers’ organisations, as well as trade unions, active in economic, sustainable development, social, human rights, environmental and other matters’.
To be eligible to be a UK representative on the Joint CSF, the candidate organisations must have specialised knowledge or expertise related to Part 2 of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, including trade, transport, energy, fisheries, labour standards, environmental rights, and social security coordination.
We believe it is important that both DAG and CSF have an excellent representation of Scotland’s civil society across sectors.
SCVO will be putting in an expression of interest because we firmly believe that the voluntary sector should be represented on both groups. Even though the criteria outlined appear quite technical, we would encourage voluntary organisations across Scotland to consider applying too.
You have knowledge and expertise that will prove essential when considering the impact of TCA on citizens and communities across the country. That experience means you can play a significant role in these groups, even if you do not have technical trade knowledge
Timescales are very tight and the closing date for applications is 9th November 2021. To apply organisations must send a cover letter (1000 words max) to firstname.lastname@example.org by 11:59 pm on 9th November [applications are for organisations rather than individuals].
Note: Following Brexit, SCVO is keen to gather evidence on the sector’s interest in the implementation/impact of post-EU arrangements. It would be helpful if you could please let us know if you are applying to become a member of either group and whether you have been successful or not in due course.