Transatlantic Economic Council: Cooperation on Innovation for Growth

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Office of the Spokesperson


Senior officials of the European Commission and the U.S. Department of State gathered on Wednesday, November 30, 2016, to review recent achievements and discuss new opportunities under the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC), which brings together officials from external trade, regulatory, commercial and scientific agencies in the EU and the United States government to support innovation and growth. Jean-Luc Demarty, Director General of DG TRADE for the EU, and Catherine Novelli, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment for the United States led the effort.

The TEC has succeeded in fostering cooperation in a wide range of emerging sectors, including:

  • Developing common standards, test procedures and tools to promote universal compatibility and interoperability between electric vehicles, e-vehicles supply equipment, and the electric power supply infrastructure. The successful bilateral working relationship has led to an expansion of collaboration to include smart energy management;

  • Advancing work towards international standards on interoperability of patient health summaries, creating a common education program to support jobs in the health-IT workforce, and fostering transatlantic partnerships with regions/cities to solve similar health IT challenges and identify potential trade and commercial opportunities; and

  • Promoting opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to increase exports.

TEC participants also regularly share best practices and discuss joint approaches to ensuring fair access to and responsible use of critical raw materials, stimulating innovation in the sustainable use of bio-based products through compatible standards, scientific and regulatory developments of nanotechnology, and stimulating innovation in the sustainable use of bio-based products.

Mr. Demarty and Ms. Novelli intend to build on the success of the TEC and apply lessons learned to explore opportunities for working more closely on ocean research projects as part of the implementation activities related to the Galway Statement, and other sustainable economic cooperation related to oceans. DG TRADE and the U.S. Department of State will publish a full report of the meeting shortly.

Background

EU and U.S. leaders first set up the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) in 2007, to help guide and spur forward economic cooperation between them.

Since then, the TEC has enabled the EU and the United States to share and benefit from each other's know-how and experience in a wide range of industries, many of them high-tech and science-based.

For example, EU and U.S. scientists and regulators have been able to work together on research into charging devices and smart grids for electric vehicles – leading to a common testing method for these systems.

In 2011, the TEC launched the High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth. This led to the decision to start negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP), which are now well underway.

The last meeting of the TEC led by Mr Demarty and Ms Novelli took place on November 16, 2015. A report is available online.

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