U.S. Department of State
95/12/03 Joint U.S.-EU Action Plan
Office of European and Canadian Affairs
On December 3, 1995, President Clinton, Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez, and European Commission President Jacques Santer announced a new agenda on U.S.-European cooperation at the U.S.-European Summit held in Madrid, Spain. This "New Transatlantic Agenda" reaffirms strong and enduring ties between the United States and Europe. The following text of the Joint Action Plan was released on December 3, 1995.
JOINT U.S.-EU ACTION PLAN
This Action Plan for expanding and deepening U.S.-EU relations reflects a framework with four shared goals:
-- Promoting peace and stability, democracy and development around the world;
-- Responding to global challenges;
-- Contributing to the expansion of world trade and closer economic relations;
-- Building bridges across the Atlantic.
I PROMOTING PEACE AND STABILITY, DEMOCRACY AND DEVELOPMENT AROUND THE WORLD
We attach the highest importance to perfecting a new transatlantic community reflecting our joint interest in promoting stability and prosperity throughout the whole continent of Europe, based on the principles of democracy and free markets. We will cooperate both jointly and multilaterally to resolve tensions, support civil societies, and promote market reforms.
Our partnership is also global. We accept our responsibility to act jointly to resolve conflicts in troubled areas, to engage in preventive diplomacy together, to coordinate our assistance efforts, to deal with humanitarian needs and to help build in developing nations the capacity for economic growth and self-sufficiency. In this global partnership we are guided by the firm belief that the strengthening of democratic institutions and respect for human rights are essential to stability, prosperity, and development.
1. Working together for a stable and prosperous Europe
a) Peace and reconstruction in the former Yugoslavia
We pledge to work together boldly and rapidly, together and with other partners, to implement the peace, to assist recovery of the war-ravaged regions of the former Yugoslavia and to support economic and political reform and new democratic institutions.
We will cooperate to ensure: (1) respect for human rights, for the rights of minorities and for the rights of refugees and displaced persons, in particular the right of return; (2) respect for the work of the War Crimes Tribunal, established by the United Nations Security Council, in order to ensure international criminal accountability; (3) the establishment of a framework for free and fair elections in Bosnia- Herzegovina as soon as conditions permit; and (4) the implementation of the agreed process for arms control, disarmament and confidence-building measures.
While continuing to provide humanitarian assistance, we will contribute to the task of reconstruction, subject to the implementation of the provisions of the peace settlement plan, in the context of the widest possible burden-sharing with other donors and taking advantage of the experience of international institutions, of the European Commission, and of all relevant bilateral donors in the coordination mechanism.
We will continue to support the Bosnian-Croat Federation.
b) Central and Eastern European Countries
We will reinforce existing dialogue and cooperation on consolidating democracy, stability and the transition to market economies in Central and Eastern Europe. To this end, we will hold annual high-level consultations.
We will cooperate in support of the structural and micro-economic reforms in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe with a view to their integration into international political and economic institutions. We will continue to consult on ongoing technical assistance efforts to develop their financial systems and capital markets. We are fostering the creation of the legal and judicial infrastructure necessary in these countries to support expanded trade and investment.
We will pursue assistance cooperation on the spot in beneficiary countries via regular and intensified contacts between U.S. missions and Commission Delegations, including assistance coordination meetings in selected capitals.
We will cooperate in helping the countries of Central and Eastern Europe to address their environmental problems by identifying joint projects consistent with the Lucerne Environmental Plan of Action, supporting the Budapest Regional Environmental Center and building on proposals from the October 1995 Sofia Ministerial.
We will work together to promote economic reform in the countries participating in the Partners in Transition program at the OECD, to facilitate their acceptance of OECD obligations and encourage their early accession. We will support the OECD 's outreach efforts to the other Central and Eastern European countries seeking a closer relationship with the OECD.
c) Russia, Ukraine and the other New Independent States
We will also reinforce existing dialogue and cooperation on consolidating democracy, stability, and the transition to market economies in Russia, Ukraine, and other new independent states (NIS). To this end, we will hold annual high-level consultations.
We will coordinate activities in support of the integration of Russia, Ukraine and other NIS in the global economy.
We will also reinforce the existing coordination relationship including technical assistance and enhanced on-the-spot coordination. We will:
-- consider complementary initiatives such as: legal advice for reforms, tax reform, banking sector reform, human resource development, privatization and post-privatization activities, small and medium-sized enterprise development and democracy building;
-- intensify cooperation on projects aimed at protecting the environment in the fields endorsed by the Sofia Conference. In addition, we agree to take steps to establish an institution similar to the Budapest Regional Environmental Center within the NIS.
We will continue to improve coordination on food assistance, using the successful coordination in the Caucasus as a practical example on which to build in the future.
We support the Turkish Government s efforts to strengthen democracy and advance economic reforms in order to promote Turkey’s further integration into the transatlantic community.
We will work towards a resolution of the Cyprus question, taking into account the prospective accession of Cyprus to the European Union. We will support the UN Secretary General s Mission of Good Offices and encourage dialogue between and with the Cypriot communities.
2. Promoting the Middle East Peace Process
We will work together to make peace, stability and prosperity in the Middle East become a reality.
To this end, we will:
-- continue our support for Palestinian self-government and economic development;
-- support the Palestinian elections which should contribute to the Palestinian democratic development;
-- play an active role at the Conference for Economic Assistance to the Palestinians;
-- work ambitiously to improve the access we both give to products from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip;
-- encourage Jordanians, Palestinians, Israelis and Egyptians to establish comprehensive free trade agreements among themselves;
-- support the regional parties in their efforts to establish road links, electricity grids, gas pipelines and other joint infrastructure necessary to foster regional trade and investments;
-- encourage and, as appropriate, support the regional parties in implementing the conclusions of the Amman Summit.
In addition we will:
-- continue our efforts to promote peace between Israel, Lebanon and Syria;
-- actively seek the dismantling of the Arab boycott of Israel.
3. Sharing responsibility in other regions of the world
We will strengthen our joint efforts in preventive diplomacy, attacking the root causes of crisis and conflict, and will facilitate the movement from relief to long-term development.
-- jointly assess the regional dimensions of the conflicts in Rwanda and in Burundi, jointly identify and plan for transitional priorities and support African-led regional initiatives to deal with these conflicts;
-- support and participate in the UN/OAU-sponsored Conference on the Great Lakes region;
-- foster peace and economic reconstruction in Angola and Mozambique;
-- take strong and appropriate steps to promote the rapid restoration of civilian democratic rule in Nigeria;
-- intensify consultations in the field and deepen our policy dialogue, including on support for the consolidation of democratic institutions in El Salvador and Nicaragua;
-- support the peace process in Guatemala and the implementation of agreements among the parties;
-- help Haiti to strengthen democracy and the rule of law by improving the effectiveness of its judicial system;
-- promote democracy, economic reforms and human rights in Cuba;
-- support smooth, successful transitions for Hong Kong and Macao in 1997 and 1999, respectively, under the terms of the 1984 Sino-British and 1987 Sino-Portuguese Joint Declarations;
-- work together to reduce the risk of regional conflict over the Korean peninsula, Taiwan and the South China Sea;
-- reinforce our joint efforts to further the process of democratic reform in Burma;
-- continue jointly to support the development of human rights and democratic practices in Cambodia;
-- continue to offer our strong support to the UN Secretary General in his efforts to find a lasting and just solution to the question of East Timor.
4 Development cooperation and humanitarian assistance
We have agreed to coordinate, cooperate and act jointly in development and humanitarian assistance activities.
To this end, we will establish a High-Level Consultative Group on Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance to review progress of existing efforts, to assess policies and priorities and to identify projects and regions for further strengthening of cooperation. This group will complement and reinforce existing coordination arrangements. The following areas for action have already been identified:
(a) Development cooperation
-- coordinate policies on democracy and civil society, on health and population, on development cooperation within the framework of international institutions and organizations and on food security;
-- develop a joint food security strategy in a number of selected countries;
-- coordinate our support for sustainable development and economic reform in the context of political liberalization in the Special Program for Africa; and cooperate in the Horn of Africa Initiative and on approaches vis-a-vis Southern Africa (including discussions with the Southern Africa Development Community, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and the exploration of opportunities for collaborative long-term assessments);
-- coordinate assistance policies to promote the participation of women at all levels.
(b) Humanitarian assistance
-- cooperate in improving the effectiveness of international humanitarian relief agencies, such as the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the World Food Program and the United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs, and in our planning and implementation of relief and reconstruction activities;
-- consider joint missions whenever possible, starting in Northern Iraq, Liberia and Angola, and hold early consultations on security in refugee camps as well as on the use of military assets in humanitarian actions;
-- work towards greater complementarity by extending operational coordination to include the planning phase, continuing and improving U.S.-European Community operational information-sharing on humanitarian assistance, appointing U.S.-EC humanitarian focal points on both sides of the Atlantic; and improving staff relations by exchange of staff and mutual training of officials administering humanitarian aid.
5. Human rights and democracy
-- consult (bilaterally and within the framework of the relevant bodies of the UN, particularly the UN Commission on Human Rights) on countries where there is serious violation of human rights, in order to coordinate policies and, as appropriate, to develop joint initiatives;
-- support jointly UN human rights activities, reinforcing the office of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights and the Center for Human Rights and following up UN conferences on human rights;
-- ensure greater integration of the OSCE human dimension into conflict prevention and the daily activities of OSCE (both regular meetings/contacts and missions on the ground);
-- work to expand legal rights for women and increase women s equal participation in decision-making processes, building on commitments made at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing;
-- aim at strengthening civics education in order to nurture the culture of democracy and, to that end, explore the possibility of EU participation in developing the coalition of public figures, educators, and private sector representatives established at the CIVITAS conference in Prague in June 1995.
6. Cooperation in international organizations
We will increase cooperation in developing a blueprint for UN economic and social reform including better coordination of UN activities, review and adjustment of agencies mandates and adoption of more efficient management techniques with a more transparent and accountable Secretariat. We will cooperate to find urgently needed solutions to the financial crisis of the UN system. We are determined to keep our commitments, including our financial obligations. At the same time, the UN must direct its resources to the highest priorities and must reform in order to meet its fundamental goals.
We will cooperate to improve coherence in international economic organizations activities, encouraging them to strengthen coordination between themselves and reduce overlap (e.g., between UN economic bodies, WTO, Bretton Woods institutions, OECD).
We will strengthen coordination in the OSCE framework, including conflict prevention/crisis management, confidence- and security-building measures, and the economic dimension.
We will cooperate on global fisheries issues, in particular on the follow-up to the results of the UN Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly-Migratory Fish Stocks.
7. Non-proliferation, international disarmament and arms transfers
We will work together to promote Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty adherence by non-parties to the Treaty. We will coordinate actions to encourage non-adherents to act in accordance with the principle of non- proliferation.
We will combine our efforts to conclude in the Geneva Conference on Disarmament, in 1996, an effective, verifiable and universally applicable Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. We will undertake joint efforts for immediate negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty.
We will coordinate on prudent extension of the Missile Technology Control Regime to non-participating countries in order to control the spread of missile technology.
We will cooperate with a view to revising the 1972 Convention on Biological Weapons in order to promote new measures to increase its effectiveness. We will work to counter the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons.
We will support international efforts to curtail the use and proliferation of anti-personnel landmines (APLs). We will cooperate for a successful outcome of the Review Conference of the 1980 Convention on Prohibition and Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons, especially on the provisions related to landmines. We will cooperate on the possible establishment of controls on the production, stockpiling and transfer of APLs.
We will continue efforts to establish a new multilateral arrangement for export controls -- the New forum -- to respond to threats caused by the proliferation of arms and arms-related technologies as well as sensitive dual-use items.
We will coordinate on preventing the spread of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, with particular emphasis on regions and countries of concern.
We will provide support to the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), underscoring the shared desire to resolve important proliferation challenges throughout the world.
II. RESPONDING TO GLOBAL CHALLENGES
We share a common concern to address in an effective manner new global challenges which, without respect for national boundaries, present a serious threat to the quality of life and which neither of us can overcome alone. We pledge our actions and resources to meet together the challenges of international crime, terrorism and drug trafficking, mass migration, degradation of the environment, nuclear safety, and disease. Together we can make a difference.
1. Fight against organized crime, terrorism and drug trafficking
We will cooperate on the fight against illegal drug trafficking, money laundering, terrorism, organized crime, and illicit trade in nuclear materials.
We will enhance bilateral cooperation and institutional contacts. We will also enhance the capabilities of criminal justice and investigative systems and promote the rule of law through international training programs at regional institutions such as the International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest, the Italian Judicial Training Center, the Middle and East European Police Academy and a similar administration of justice institution for the Western Hemisphere.
We will take steps to establish an information exchange mechanism on cooperation between the U.S. and the EU and its member States in the law enforcement and criminal justice fields, especially regarding activities in providing training, technical assistance, and equipment to other nations.
We will foster the exchange of law enforcement and criminal justice expertise between the U.S. and the EU in three areas:
-- scientific and technological developments;
-- exchanges of experts and observers between appropriate institutes and agencies;
-- the sharing of information such as studies and analyses of emerging trends in international criminal activity.
When mutually agreed, we will jointly prepare reports to include recommended courses of action.
We will discuss the possibility of establishing interim cooperative measures between competent U.S. authorities and the European Drugs Unit and begin implementing the possibilities provided for in the convention on EUROPOL to facilitate relations between EUROPOL and the U.S. Government.
We will examine possibilities for cooperation in support of the UN Drug Control Program marine interdiction initiatives.
We will coordinate alternative development programs to counter drug production.
We will jointly support the establishment of cooperative links between appropriate EU institutions such as the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction and the Commission Interamericana para el Control del Abuso de Drogas.
We will coordinate our counter-narcotics assistance programs and projects in the Caribbean.
We will take action to strengthen the Dublin Group by reinforcing and supporting its members counter-narcotics measures.
We will work to conclude an agreement in order to exchange, among other things, sensitive information for the pre-clearance of shipments of essential and precursor chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs and cooperate in joint training programs in chemical diversion control.
We will cooperate on assessing and responding to terrorist threats.
2. Immigration and asylum
-- strengthen information exchanges on illegal immigration and on asylum, taking into account, inter alia, the work of the Geneva Intergovernmental Consultative Group;
-- cooperate in the fight against the traffic in illegal immigrants;
-- cooperate in the fight against the traffic in women;
-- exchange information on asylum trends and on successful asylum system reform;
-- establish common responses to refugee crisis situations, notably by early-warning mechanisms and coordination;
-- develop a common stance on temporary protection in the United Nations High Commission for Refugees;
-- coordinate positions on the Conference on Refugees and Migrants in the Commonwealth of Independent States;
-- improve existing arrangements and exchanges of intelligence in areas of mutual concern, for example, forged identity documents and transport carriers liability;
-- convene seminars in 1996 and compare the results of our respective studies on migration flows both into the U.S. and into the EU.
3. Legal and judicial cooperation
-- identify means of strengthening international judicial assistance and cooperation in the obtaining of evidence and other relevant information;
-- cooperate on the judicial seizure and forfeiture of assets;
-- identify means to strengthen and improve international mechanisms for extradition, deportation, mutual legal assistance and other cooperative action to ensure that international fugitives have nowhere to hide;
-- cooperate in promoting the work of the Hague Conference on Private International Law and the International Institute for Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT).
4. Preservation of the environment
We will enhance our exchange of views and coordination of negotiating positions on major global issues, with a view to improving the effectiveness of multilateral efforts to protect the global environment.
We will also strengthen the exchange of information and reporting on global environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity, ozone layer depletion, persistent organic pollutants, desertification and erosion, water quality and quantity, land-based sources of marine pollution, hazardous wastes and contaminated soils, forest issues and trade and the environment.
We will work together at the U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and other relevant bodies, including the Global Environmental Facility, to encourage the world at large in the challenge of caring for the global environment. We will continue working on the successful conclusion of CSD work on the sustainable management of all types of forests.
We will enhance our bilateral dialogue on regulatory cooperation, including by:
-- extending cooperation on chemicals issues, such as Prior Informed Consent for the trade in hazardous chemicals, harmonization of classification and labeling, and reduction of risks from hazardous substances, building in particular on our joint call for actions in the OECD to reduce exposure to lead;
-- continuing work on biotechnology issues such as the mutual acceptance of data for assessment and the release of genetically modified organisms;
Enhancing work on air pollution, including efforts to decrease emissions from mobile sources and to assess the possibility of developing comparable emissions standards.
We will undertake coordinated initiatives for the dissemination of environmental technologies, including in developing countries. In this regard, we will use the Climate Technology Initiative and proposals for an international clearinghouse on environmental technologies and practices. Private sector involvement will be a key aspect of this process.
We will engage in a broad and substantive dialogue on ways and means to limit and reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases, including CO2.
5. Population issues
We will coordinate to implement the International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo conference) Program of Action. We will work to sustain support for family planning and expand access to reproductive health programs in the context of a comprehensive approach to population stabilization and sustainable development.
We will work together to strengthen the effectiveness of bilateral and multilateral population assistance programs.
6. Nuclear safety
We will promote the ratification of the International Convention on Nuclear Safety.
We will coordinate positions in the negotiations in the International Convention on Radioactive Residues.
We will improve existing bilateral assistance coordination in the field of nuclear safety, extending to on-site and off-site nuclear emergency preparedness, including in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the NIS, as well as special G-7 Chernobyl assistance. We will cooperate in the preparation of the Moscow Conference on Nuclear Safety.
We will establish a U.S.-EU task force to develop and implement an effective global early warning system and response network for communicable diseases.
We are taking steps to provide for increased training opportunities and professional exchanges in the area of communicable diseases and encourage participation in U.S. and EU programs by scientists from developing countries.
We will coordinate our requests to other nations and international organizations calling for action against emerging and re-emerging communicable diseases. We will encourage the follow-up of recent World Health Organization (WHO) resolutions dealing with outbreak and reporting responsibilities and strengthened response centers.
We will cooperate, bilaterally and within the framework of the WHO, and other international organizations as appropriate, on respective programs on health-related matters (AIDS and other communicable diseases, cancer, drug addiction) and identify specific areas for cooperation, especially in the research field.
III. CONTRIBUTING TO THE EXPANSION OF WORLD TRADE AND CLOSER ECONOMIC RELATIONS
We are each other s largest trading and investment partners. Our economic prosperity is inextricably linked. At the same time, our economic and trade relations affect third countries and regions. It is our responsibility to contribute effectively to international economic stability and growth and to broaden our bilateral economic dialogue.
We have a special responsibility to strengthen the multilateral trading system, to support the World Trade Organization and to lead the way in opening markets for trade and investment.
We will create a New Transatlantic Marketplace by progressively reducing or eliminating barriers that hinder the flow of goods, services and capital between us.
1. Strengthening the multilateral trading system
a) Consolidating the WTO
We will promote adherence to multilateral rules and commitments, including the effective functioning of the dispute settlement system, and secure the full implementation of the Uruguay Round Agreements by all WTO Members.
We will work to ensure a successful and substantive outcome for the Singapore Ministerial meeting.
We will cooperate on the accession of new members, notably China and Russia.
We will promote the effective management and operation of the WTO.
b) Uruguay Round unfinished business
We will work for the completion of the unfinished business of Marrakech with regard to goods and services. We are committed to the successful conclusion of the current negotiations in all services sectors by the agreed timetables. The most immediate deadlines are April 30, 1996 for telecommunications and June 30, 1996 for maritime services.
c) Financial services
We agree to concert our efforts to promote liberalization of financial services on a worldwide basis. In particular, we will seek to ensure that the interim agreement concluded in July 1995 is succeeded by a more substantial package of permanent liberalization commitments from a critical mass of WTO members.
d) Government procurement
We will promote the launching by Ministers in Singapore of negotiations within the WTO aimed at covering substantially all government procurement and WTO members.
e) Intellectual property rights (IPR)
We will cooperate to ensure the full implementation of the TRIPs Agreement and improve the level of IPR protection throughout the world. We will work to develop a comprehensive agenda for future TRIPs negotiations within the WTO.
f) New issues
We will work together in the WTO and/or other appropriate fora. We will give priority to:
i) Environment: The report to the Singapore Ministerial Meeting should set out clear recommendations for decisions and a process for further work to ensure that trade and environmental measures are mutually supportive.
(ii) Investment: We will work closely together in formulating our respective policies. This cooperation should, in particular, bear fruit in a successful conclusion, as called for in the 1995 OECD Ministerial Declaration, of the negotiations on a Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) espousing strong principles on international investment liberalization and protection. Meanwhile, we will work to develop discussion of the issue with our partners in the WTO.
(iii) Competition: We will pursue work on the scope for multilateral action in the fields of trade and competition policy. Our competition authorities will cooperate in working with other countries to develop effective antitrust regimes.
(iv) Labor standards: We will join our efforts in the WTO and other fora with a view to dissipating various misunderstandings and preoccupations of trading partners regarding the relationship between trade and internationally recognized labor standards.
g) Market access: creating additional trading opportunities
We will cooperate in creating additional trading opportunities, bilaterally and throughout the world, in conformity with our WTO commitments. In view of the importance of the information society, we are launching a specific exercise in order to attempt to conclude an information technology agreement.
In the perspective of the WTO Singapore Ministerial Meeting, we will explore the possibility of agreeing on a mutually satisfactory package of tariff reductions on industrial products, and we will consider which, if any, Uruguay Round obligations on tariffs can be implemented on an accelerated basis.
We will work ambitiously to improve the access we both give to products from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
h) International customs cooperation
We will work together in the World Customs Organization and cooperate with the International Chamber of Commerce to develop a comprehensive model of norms and standards for customs procedures throughout the world to promote, inter alia, increased transparency and harmonized approaches to classification, valuation and rules of origin.
i) Illicit payments
We will combat corruption and bribery by implementing the 1994 OECD Recommendation on Bribery in International Transactions.
2. The New Transatlantic Marketplace
The creation of the New Transatlantic Marketplace will include the following actions, which also take into consideration the recommendations of the Transatlantic Business Dialogue:
a) Joint study
We will carry out a joint study on ways of facilitating trade in goods and services and further reducing or eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers.
b) Confidence building
As part of a confidence-building process, we will reinforce our efforts to resolve bilateral trade issues and disputes.
c) Standards, certification and regulatory issues
We will aim to conclude an agreement on mutual recognition of conformity assessment (which includes certification and testing procedures) for certain sectors as soon as possible. We will continue the ongoing work in several sectors and identify others for further work.
We will cooperate closely in the international standard setting process, drawing on international bodies to achieve the greatest possible use of international standards, and will seek the maximum practical transparency, participation and non-discrimination.
We will devote special attention to cooperatively developing and implementing regulations on vehicle safety requirements and on measures to reduce air and noise emissions. We will build on existing efforts aimed at facilitating international regulatory harmonization, taking account of our respective policies on safety and environmental protection, while recognizing the need to achieve, wherever possible, global regulatory uniformity.
We will strengthen regulatory cooperation, in particular by encouraging regulatory agencies to give a high priority to cooperation with their respective transatlantic counterparts, so as to address technical and other non-tariff barriers to trade resulting from divergent regulatory processes. We will especially encourage a collaborative approach between the U.S. and the EU in testing and certification procedures by promoting greater compatibility of standards and health- and safety- related measures. To this end, we will seek to develop pilot cooperative projects.
d) Veterinary and plant health issues
We will conclude an agreement to establish a framework for determining equivalence of veterinary standards and procedures for all live animals and animal products.
We will enhance the established cooperation on plant health issues and in the area of pesticide residues regulation.
e) Government procurement
We will aim to increase substantially in 1996 and beyond the coverage of U.S.-EU bilateral commitments on public procurement under the Government Procurement Agreement and to coordinate in developing proposals on information technology under the Agreement.
f) Intellectual property rights (IPR)
With a view to reinvigorating our efforts to solve remaining IPR problems, we will hold a seminar during 1996 addressing current and future IPR issues.
g) Financial services
We will expand our ongoing dialogue on financial services to include discussion of the financial and economic aspects of our respective relations with third countries.
h) Customs cooperation
We will endeavor to conclude by the end of 1996 a customs cooperation and mutual assistance agreement between the U.S. and the EC. The agreement should cover:
-- customs cooperation: simplification of customs procedures, computerization (information, data exchange, common access to databases etc.), consultation within international organizations, methods of work;
-- mutual assistance: exchange of enforcement information, increased investigative cooperation in customs matters, protection of intellectual property rights, commercial fraud, illicit nuclear traffic, trade in severely restricted chemicals;
-- programs for the exchange of officials.
i) Information Society, information technology and telecommunications
We will expand and develop the bilateral Information Society Dialogue, in order to further common understanding of global issues implying access to information services through public institutions, regulatory reforms, and technological cooperation, including the continuation of expert-level discussions in the following areas:
--interconnection and interoperability, including standardization issues (particularly for interfaces, network terminating equipment, mobile telephones, digital video broadcasting/high definition television);
-- universal service;
-- procompetitive interconnection policies and principles;
-- access to information and the protection of IPR;
-- satellite policy;
-- commercial communications;
-- privacy and data protection;
-- the impact on society, including public services and employment.
The Dialogue will also address those new legislative and regulatory developments which are proposed or are being prepared to achieve progress in these areas, including questions of regulatory transparency.
In the context of enhanced cooperation in science and technology, we will work towards the reduction of obstacles to cooperation in research and development in the field of information and communications. We will jointly support the implementation of the G-7 global projects on the Information Society, aiming to spur innovation and ensure interconnection and interoperability. Furthermore, we will exchange information on on-going and future research programs in the field of information communication technology to foster concrete bilateral cooperation actions in research and development.
We will also discuss regulatory issues relating to on-line interactive and international service provision, in order to maximize their development, which is essential for the success of the transition towards an Information Society on both sides of the Atlantic.
We will cooperate on the integration of developing countries in the global Information Society, initially through our support for the Information Society Conference in South Africa in 1996 and through our participation in the International Telecommunications Union.
We will pursue, and build on, bilateral cooperation in the immediate term based on the U.S.-EC Agreement of 1991. We will examine the options for deepening cooperation on competition matters, including the possibility of a further agreement.
k) Data protection
We will discuss data protection issues with a view to facilitating information flows, while addressing the risks to privacy.
-- establish a working group for consultations on design and implementation of Global Navigation Satellite Systems;
-- improve U.S.-EU cooperation on air traffic management;
-- hold consultations on maritime transport safety and crew qualifications.
We will intensify contacts and cooperation on energy-related issues -- including through contacts in multilateral fora where appropriate -- such as the environmental implications of energy policy on regulatory frameworks for the energy sector, on technical assistance activities to third countries and on energy technology.
We will encourage regulatory cooperation, including with respect to genetically modified organisms, and expand bilateral cooperation in the preparation of multilateral meetings and negotiations in connection with the UN, FAO, OECD, CODEX Alimentarius and the Biodiversity Convention. We will continue the activities of the U.S.-EU Biotechnology Task Force, and in this context, will promote joint research efforts in the fields of neuro-informatics and marine biotechnology.
o) Safety and health
We will explore the scope for an agreement for the exchange of information on issues affecting health and safety at work, such as occupational safety and health standards, the development of regulations, high risk activity, carcinogenic substances at the workplace, toxicology, testing programs, education and information programs, and the collection of statistics and data.
We will explore the establishment of improved mechanisms for the timely exchange of information related to the general safety of products, including the withdrawal of products from the market.
3. Jobs and growth
Given the overarching importance of job creation, we pledge to cooperate in the follow-up to the Detroit Jobs Conference and the G-7 Summit initiative. We look forward to further cooperation in the run-up to the G-7 Jobs Conference in France, at the next G-7 Summit in the Summer of 1996 and in other fora such as the OECD and the International Labor Organization.
We will establish a joint working group on employment and labor-related issues. We will intensify the dialogue, in particular on new forms of labor-management cooperation; increased investment in human resources, including education and skills training; smoothing the transition from school-to-work and job-to-job; active labor market policies and the relationship between work and welfare; employment and new technologies; and encouraging entrepreneuralism.
We will continue to exchange views on macroeconomic issues in the light of the importance of a sound macroeconomic framework both for the development of an harmonious relationship and for the fostering of non- inflationary growth, the reduction of imbalances and international financial stability.
IV. BUILDING BRIDGES ACROSS THE ATLANTIC
We recognize that the transatlantic relationship can be truly secure in the coming century only if future generations understand its importance as well as their parents and grandparents did. We are committed to fostering an active and vibrant transatlantic community by deepening and broadening the commercial, social, cultural, scientific and educational ties that bind us.
1 Transatlantic Business Dialogue
We will support and encourage the development of the Transatlantic Business Dialogue, as an integral part of our wider efforts to strengthen our bilateral relationship. The successful conference of U.S. and EU business leaders which took place in Seville on November 10- 11, 1995 was an important step in this direction. We welcome the fact that the participants were able to agree on a series of joint recommendations to build an even stronger framework within which trade, investment, capital and technology can flow across the Atlantic. We commend them for encouraging both business communities to continue to devote attention to possible improvements in the transatlantic commercial relationship.
We have studied carefully the recommendations adopted at Seville, and have already incorporated a number of them into our present Action Plan. Our officials will work closely together with our business leaders on both sides in considering follow-up to the many other suggestions arising from the Seville meeting, and will report at the next U.S.-EU Summit.
2. Broadening science and technology cooperation
We will negotiate a new, comprehensive U.S.-EC science and technology cooperation agreement by 1997 based on the principle of mutual interest, with a view to achieving a balance of benefits to us both.
We will work to conclude the Agreement on Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (advanced technologies and robotics).
Recognizing that scientific and technological advances underlie our ability to meet global challenges and foster economic growth, we will promote cooperative science and technology projects in support of topics identified in this document.
In addition, we will work to identify collaborative projects and exchange information to address cross-border issues such as transportation, health and global climate change. Examples of specific projects include: intermodal transport and fast transhipment techniques; intelligent transportation systems; the study and forecasting of travel behavior; development of a malaria vaccine; and the study of environmental health and the effects of radiation.
3. People to people links
-- encourage our citizens to increase their contacts in diverse fora -- youth, professionals, think tanks etc. -- with a view to deepening grassroots support for the transatlantic relationship and enriching the flow of ideas for the solution of common problems;
-- work for the early creation of the joint consortia and for the implementation of the Fulbright Awards, and other activities provided for in our Agreement on Cooperation in Higher Education and Vocational Training;
-- cooperate on the reform of higher education in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, other NIS and Mongolia by identifying and assessing those projects of the EU s TEMPUS program which already include U.S. partner universities and exploring possibilities of wider participation of U.S. universities in TEMPUS projects;
-- encourage the study of each other s systems of government as well as the histories, cultures and languages of our communities;
-- encourage voluntary cooperation and dissemination of information for the mutual recognition of university studies and degrees within the U.S. and EU member States;
-- examine ways to increase private support for educational exchanges, including scholarships and intern programs;
-- exchange information and cooperate on innovations related to vocational training and intend to convene a conference on vocational training in Spring 1996;
-- examine ways new technologies might be employed to link education and training establishments, including schools in the U.S. with those in the EU;
-- encourage "sister cities" to promote exchanges.
4. Information and Culture
We will study ways and means of:
-- encouraging artistic and cultural cooperation projects, such as exchanges in the field of the visual arts, theater, ballet, orchestras and musical groups, the co-production of films and TV programs;
-- spreading knowledge of and encouraging literary creativity, including exploring with the private sector the sponsorship of an U.S.-EU prize for literature;
-- spreading knowledge of cultural and artistic heritage programs.
We will establish sites on the INTERNET to provide quick and easy access to the New Transatlantic Agenda, the joint U.S.-EU Action Plan, information on U.S. and EU studies, descriptions of pertinent library holdings as well as other material relevant to the U.S.-EU relationship.
We will consult and cooperate on the preparation of a medium-term communications strategy which will aim to increase public awareness on both sides of the Atlantic of the U.S.-EU dimension.
END OF JOINT US-EU ACTION PLAN
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