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The European Commission is currently involved in talks with the United States on the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a deal that could create the largest free-trade agreement in the world and have a massive impact on business and governance.

The agreement is being negotiated by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Trade (DG Trade). Civil society organisations are providing the directorate with their views on the TTIP. Coffey has been chosen to carry out an evaluation of the Directorate General’s current Civil Society Dialogue meetings in Brussels.

During the evaluation, we will assess the value and effectiveness of the directorate’s Civil Society Dialogue process. The process is designed to provide a structured approach for the European Commission to discuss trade issues with civil society organisations and groups relevant to the policy discussions. These groups include trade associations, trade unions, labour groups and social and development NGOs. Over 600 organisations have registered for the discussions and over 2000 representatives have already attended meetings.

The results of the evaluation are intended to allow the Directorate General to renew its approach to discussion and debate with civil society and to ensure that consultation processes, such as the ones used during the TTIP negotiations, remain useful and relevant.