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For Immediate Release
June 20, 2005
The United States and the European Union Initiative to Enhance Transatlantic Economic Integration and Growth
To implement the Declaration on Enhancing Transatlantic Economic Integration and Growth we will undertake the following:
Promoting Regulatory and Standards Cooperation
We recognize the importance of U.S.-EU regulatory cooperation for the well-being of our citizens and commercial relations, and note the rich network of cooperative exchanges already underway. Our aim is to build effective mechanisms to promote better quality regulation, and minimize unnecessary regulatory divergences to facilitate transatlantic trade and investment and increase consumer confidence in the transatlantic market.
To achieve this we will encourage enhanced regulatory cooperation under the 2005 Roadmap for U.S.-EU Regulatory Cooperation, including: establishment of a senior-level dialogue on best regulatory policies and practices; identification of resources and mechanisms to support exchanges for U.S. and EU regulatory experts; and expansion of successful sectoral initiatives. We will further encourage dialogue on standards issues.
Further, we will establish a U.S.-EU high-level Regulatory Cooperation Forum, through which senior U.S., European Commission and, where appropriate, other European Community regulators would be encouraged to exchange views, share experiences, and learn from each other regarding general or crosscutting regulatory cooperation approaches and practices of mutual interest. This forum is intended to complement the informal OMB-EC dialogue and separate sectoral regulatory cooperation activities between the U.S. and the European Commission. We will continue to use the U.S.-EU Financial Markets Regulatory Dialogue, referred to below, as the venue for financial regulatory discussions.
This informal mechanism should promote enhanced cooperation in line with the 2002 Guidelines for Regulatory Cooperation and Transparency and should also be the focal point for exchanges and discussion of annual regulatory work programs. Such a review could help identify additional prospective areas/priorities for U.S.-EU regulatory cooperation, and facilitate early warning about possible divergent regulatory approaches.
Regulators should autonomously assess progress for ongoing cooperation activities and set objectives with specific actions to be achieved within the next year. The compilation of these plans, jointly agreed upon by U.S. and European regulators, would constitute priorities for U.S.-EU regulatory cooperation to be submitted annually at the U.S.-EU Summit.
The forum should organize meetings and conferences on regulatory issues of mutual interest. To gain broader perspective, other regulators as well as representatives from academia, think-tanks, businesses, NGOs and other organizations will be invited to participate, as appropriate.
We look forward to annual updates on work in each of our many regulatory dialogues. We will consider the most appropriate instruments or approaches to advance our cooperation on a case-by-case basis, taking into account developments in regulatory cooperation.
Stimulating Open and Competitive Capital Markets
Dynamic capital markets are a catalyst for growth and innovation. Our aim is to increase the integration and efficiency of our respective capital markets and work together to make transatlantic financial markets operate seamlessly. To achieve this, we will continue to use the U.S.-EU Financial Markets Regulatory Dialogue (FMRD) to (1) anticipate, identify and discuss financial regulatory issues, by continuing to review legislative and regulatory developments (including implementation and enforcement) and (2) promote progress on issues of concern to each other.
Among other areas, we will focus the discussion on: implementation and enforcement of financial market reforms; promoting convergence of accounting standards as soon as possible; removing barriers to further integration of clearing and settlement systems; encouraging competition among trade execution venues; promoting deeper and wider capital markets; making progress on deregistration reform and on insurance issues; making progress on adoption and implementation of Basel II; and taking steps to help build the transatlantic venture capital market.
The U.S. and the EU share common concerns in the fight against corporate and financial fraud, money laundering, financing of terrorism, tax evasion, corruption and other malpractices. The U.S. will work together with the Commission and Member States, as appropriate, to encourage adoption of the highest standards of transparency, exchange of information and cooperation among competent authorities.
The U.S. and the EU would also explore ways to improve our dialogue on macroeconomic and structural issues of common interest in ways that complement discussions in other fora such as the G-7.
Spurring Innovation and the Development of Technology
The U.S. and EU will increasingly rely on innovation and advanced technologies to stimulate economic growth and prosperity. Our aim is to increase synergies across the Atlantic as we become more knowledge-based economies.
To achieve this, we will work to:
Enhancing Trade, Travel and Security
Ensuring the security of people and goods in transit is fundamental to deepening the U.S.-EU relationship. Our aim is to create a more secure and efficient transatlantic and global supply chain by developing and adopting effective, compatible security standards and customs benefits. We welcome progress made to secure the end-to-end supply chain under the 2004 U.S.-EU Agreement on Enhanced Customs Cooperation. Our joint efforts contributed significantly to development of the World Customs Organization framework of standards for security and facilitation. We strongly support adoption of this framework by the WCO Council in June 2005, and are committed to its implementation. We will build on this progress to continue working toward avoiding adverse consequences for transatlantic shippers, including by working to ensure the compatibility of the EU's Authorized Economic Operator concept and the U.S. C-TPAT Program. We also will seek compatible practices and standards to enhance air transport security and facilitate air cargo traffic. We agree to pursue measures to facilitate business and tourist travel, including consideration of a "trusted persons" initiative, and explore means to increase cooperation in research and development of security-related technologies. The U.S. and the EU continue to support on-going discussions on reciprocal visa exempt travel for short-term stays for our citizens.
Promoting Energy Efficiency
The U.S. and EU will work together, to advance energy security, renewables, energy efficiency and economic development, as highlighted in the attachment to this Annex. We recognize the benefits that can result from sustained and coordinated policies on energy efficiency. We wish to support developing countries in their efforts to meet their basic energy needs by promoting sound energy policies and applying new, clean energy technologies. We will continue to work together to promote clean and efficient carbon sequestration technologies, all forms of renewable energy, and the next generation of hydrogen and other clean and safe energy technologies.
Protection of Intellectual Property Rights
Growing global piracy and counterfeiting threatens the competitiveness of innovative industries, the livelihoods of creative artists and workers, and the health and safety of consumers in the European Union, the United States and beyond. We are committed to effectively combating piracy and counterfeiting at home and abroad. The U.S. and EU will coordinate our respective efforts, as highlighted in the Declaration we have issued today. To enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the patent system more generally, the EU and the U.S. will work together to ensure progress in international fora.
Investment flows are a vital part of our transatlantic economic relationship, with bilateral direct foreign investment standing at nearly $2 trillion and growing by the day. To further promote economic growth, jobs, competitiveness and consumer benefits, we undertake to facilitate transatlantic investment opportunities to the fullest, including by providing efficient, comprehensive and easily accessible information on investment regimes and policies to attract investment, with a special focus on informing small and medium enterprises. We agree to discuss any significant remaining obstacles to transatlantic investment that the other party identifies, and will consider how to address and reduce such obstacles with a view to promoting closer transatlantic economic integration.
Competition Policy and Enforcement
As our economies have become ever more intertwined, the enforcement of competition laws by authorities on one side of the Atlantic increasingly has consequences for the other jurisdiction. The European Commission and U.S. competition authorities cooperate intensively under the 1991 and 1998 agreements, coordinating enforcement activities and exchanging non-confidential information. To further enhance this cooperation, our authorities will explore ways to allow them to exchange certain confidential information, including with respect to international cartels.
The United States and the European Union recognize the benefits of open and competitive procurement markets. The EU and U.S. should reinforce their co-ordination and co-operation with a view to fostering progress in plurilateral negotiations on government procurement, both via the GPA and via expansion of GPA membership. In addition, taking into account progress in other fora, notably the GPA, both sides will consider how to go beyond existing and future GPA commitments at the U.S.-EU bilateral level. This could include enhancing the use of electronic procurement on both sides.
We should continue cooperation on aviation issues, including safety, security and liberalization, including achievement of a comprehensive first-step U.S.-EU air services agreement as soon as possible. Such an agreement would unlock substantial benefits by providing valuable new business opportunities, to the benefit of U.S. and EU airlines, airports, tourism, business links, cargo transport and consumers.
Mutual recognition of professional qualifications can facilitate the movement of professionals, encourage greater opportunities, and foster competition in the services sector. We encourage competent authorities on both sides to look into the mutual recognition of professional qualifications, notably in sectors where economic interest or need has been substantiated by suppliers and/or users of professional services, such as is the case in the field of architectural services.