The European Committee of the Regions is a long-standing supporter of Fair Trade. After its 2010 opinion "Contributing to sustainable development: the role of fair trade and non-governmental trade-related sustainability assurance schemes", CoR members put this topic back on the European agenda with their own-initiative opinion "Local and regional support for Fair Trade in Europe" adopted in 2015, the European Year for Development. The CoR calls on the European Commission to use the opportunity of the announced communication on trade to outline how to move towards a coherent framework for EU fair trade. An EU strategy on this should promote the active involvement in fair trade of local and regional authorities.
A CoR study provides insightful background information on the legal and policy frameworks and their limits for Fair Trade at European, national and sub national level in Europe and on the adoption at the local and regional level of instruments supporting Fair Trade.
Numerous local and regional authorities in the European Union already support fair trade. The recently published CoR publication "Local and regional authorities promoting fair trade", which is also available in print format, unites both the study and a collection of examples of regional and local fair trade support, prefaced by the rapporteur of the CoR opinion Barbara Duden.