A single-issue organization with broad membership covering a very large range of services sectors, ESF is recognised by the European Institutions as the Voice of European service industries for the liberalisation of services through trade policy.
ESF mission is to represent the interests of its members in the international trade and investment negotiations, being at multilateral, plurilateral or bilateral level.
At Multilateral level, ESF has been represented in all WTO Ministerial Conferences, as advisor to the EU Delegation, since its inception in 1999.
At bilateral level, ESF follow closely the Free Trade Agreements (FTA) negotiations that the European Union is negotiating with its trading partners around the world, and provide the negotiators with the priorities of the services industries in these talks, and ensure a monitoring of the implementation of these FTAs.
The EU Member States’ services trade negotiators – gathered in the previously so-called “Article 133 (Services) Committee” and now “Trade Policy Committee – Services and Investment” (TPC SI) – hold regular meetings with ESF members, allowing them to receive direct input from the entire services industry in one meeting. These meetings are organised every six months with the EU Presidency in office. This Committee is not just a consultative committee, but a decision-making committee.
ESF also organises meetings and delegations to the countries with which the EU negotiate and express positions to relevant local negotiating authorities, meet with EU business on site and local business trade organisations, etc.
Joining ESF would allow you to benefit from the excellent relationship between the organisation and the trade negotiators from the EU Institutions and the EU Member States, and outside the EU.
Participating directly in the formulation of policy of European service industries for Trade negotiations
The core business of ESF is conducted through the Policy Committee to which each member of the ESF nominates a delegate. The preparatory work for drafting ESF positions is undertaken within the Policy Committee. Unlike most European associations, where companies can intervene only via a national association, ESF member companies can participate directly in the policy-making of ESF and the drafting of ESF positions, allowing them to voice their priorities, issues and concerns.
Being part of a high level trade services experts from within global companies
ESF is considered a valuable partner by the European Institutions, notably because the involvement at high level of the members’ companies adds value to the interventions of the network.
Benefiting directly from the most up-to-date information from the trade negotiators
At each Policy Committee meeting, officials from the Services Unit of the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission are invited to brief ESF members on the latest developments on the services negotiations.
The ESF secretariat also organises ad-hoc meetings on specific topic for interested members with the relevant officials. Newsletters are regularly sent out to keep members informed of any new development, study or information.
ESF members are also invited once or twice a year to be part of an ESF delegation to the WTO Secretariat in Geneva and to present ESF priorities to WTO member delegations. The broad membership of ESF enables meetings with ambassadors and senior officials from of WTO member countries to be arranged efficiently and effectively.
For further information and membership applications, please contact
Pascal Kerneis, ESF Managing Director.
European Services Forum
168, avenue de Cortenbergh
1000 – Brussels – Belgium
Tel: +322 2307514