January - June 2008

New Pact Would Give EU Citizens' Date to US
30 June 2008 - The Guardian - Ian Traynor.
In an effort to fight the War on Terror, European and US officials are working on an agreement to allow US authorities to have "access to the credit card histories, banking details and travel habits of Europeans."  The talks have occurred for the past year and a half under the supervision of "Stewart Baker on the US side and Jonathan Faull, a Briton responsible for justice and home affairs in the [European] Commission" Other proposals in the works are introducing "armed guards on flights from Europe to the US," and a "electronic travel authorisation system where travellers to the US would need to apply online for permission to fly before buying a ticket."
(Read More)

EU Visit to US to Strengthen Cooperation in Non-Nuclear Energy Research is a Success
Business Wire.com - 23 June 2008
"During the recent visit to the US by a delegation of European Commission officials led by Director for the Energy Program at DG Research, Mr. Raffaele Liberali, the European Union and the United States agreed to strengthen co-operation in the area of non-nuclear energy research on the basis of common interest and mutual benefit under the EU-US Science and Technology Co-operation Agreement."  This visit was crucial to foster a strong relationship between the United Sates and the EU to work together to develop new energy technology. (Read More)

EU-US Summit Issues Transatlantic Declaration
11 June 2008 - eGov Monitor
In today's  EU-US Summit in Slovenia, leaders of the EU and US discussed several important  issues concerning strengthening a transatlantic partnership in addition to issuing a Joint Declaration. There was mutual agreement over increasing transatlantic ties, and "coordinated cooperation in addressing regional and  global issues." Other topics in discussion were the Visa Waiver Program  which would foster more travel to the US, the Aviation Agreement, an agreement  to reduce the barriers in air transport, and how to work within the UN framework for climate change. Progress of the Transatlantic Economic Council was also reviewed in a report presented by both American and European officials.

Merkel Urges Cuts in Trade Barriers Ahead of Bush Visit
9 June 2008 - EU Business Ltd.
In a column for the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, called for further reduction of transatlantic trade barriers, and the standardization of safety and product regulations. This column comes in anticipation of what will most likely be President Bush's final European visit while in office. Among the reforms she advocated for was the harmonization of automobile safety standards, which the article states "could cut production costs by seven percent."  Merkel also stated that liberalized transatlantic trade and investment would improve "economic growth by three percent" according to a study by the OECD. In regards to the EU's ban on US poultry, she urged for compromise, and declared that the US proposal to scan all incoming shipping containers needed to "balance security concerns and business interests."
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U.S., EU Agree on Joint Inspections Program
3 June 2008 - FDA News
As part of the agenda of the Transatlantic Economic Council, the U.S. and the EU have agreed on a joint inspections program designed to streamline the certification of production facilities for pharmaceuticals. The two agencies in question, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMEA), look forward to the ability of this program to identify more safe sites for the manufacture of medicine. In a statement, the European Community stated that the "collaboration on inspections should result in more effective use of resources and a higher safety level of product from third countries."
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EU Maintains Ban on US Poultry
4 June 2008 - EurActiv.com
Experts in the Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal Health have rejected the EU Commission's attempt to remove the ban on US poultry.  The ban, enacted in 1997, prohibits the EU from importing poultry that has been chemically treated in the U.S..  This recommendation by the committee, which will influence the member state agricultural ministers, comes as a disappointment to the nascent Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC). (Read More)

Progress on the EU-U.S. Chicken Flap
28 May 2008 - Christian Science Monitor
After intensive negotiations,  the  11-year-old  US - European Union poultry dispute may become the first major  victory of the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC).  A new European effort  to lift the ban is underway. According to experts, loosening restrictions on  trade issues-one of which is the poultry ban-could result in as  much as 3.5 percent GDP growth for both sides of the Atlantic, according to the  Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris.

US Food and Drug Administration & European Medicines Agency to increase cooperation
In-Pharma Technologies, May 26, 2008
Guidelines for collaboration between the (FDA), the European Commission and the European Medicines Agency (EMEA), were agreed at the Transatlantic Economic Council's second meeting on May 13, moving toward the TEC's goal to harmonize US and EU pharmaceutical regulatory processes.
(Read More)

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