The Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) was created in 2007 at the EU-U.S. summit to define and layout those areas that present the most potential in terms of EU/US regulatory cooperation. The TEC brings together policy makers, experts, standard setters and regulatory agencies from both sides of the Atlantic to discuss the potential of cooperation and reducing regulatory burdens between the U.S. and EU. Since it is more difficult to harmonize pre-existing standards, the focus of such regulatory cooperation under the TEC is on emerging technologies. Examples of successful TEC work streams include e-mobility, e-health, SMEs, secure trade and IPR.
At TEC’s inception in 2007, the TransAtlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) was designated as the official business advisory group to the TEC by the EU and U.S. governments. Since 2013, the Trans-Atlantic Business Council (TABC) has absorbed this role and has organised regular stakeholder meetings, which serve as a platform for the transatlantic business community to share ideas for upcoming regulatory issues and new technologies which could be successfully addressed by the TEC. From the TABC perspective, the ideal scenario for the TEC would be to ensure that when both sides start regulating new technologies, coordination occurs from the outset. Such early cooperation would ideally lead to greater convergence.
In 2015, under the new leadership of Cathy Novelli, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, U.S. Department of State, and Jean-Luc Demarty, Director General, DG Trade, the TEC has been re-energized as a platform for closer EU-U.S. cooperation in a wide range of emerging sectors. The latest TEC facilitators report (see below) – which resulted from a meeting between the two leaders in November 2015 – outlines the discussions and progress that continues in several work streams, including e-mobility, e-health, raw materials, SMEs, bio-based economy and nanotechnology. Four new areas for potential future work were also identified: unmanned aircraft systems, quantum information systems, marine technology, and automated vehicles.