EU, US seek regulatory convergence on future technology

EU Observer reports that the US and the EU are hoping to construct an 800-million-citizen-strong market with converging regulatory regimes whose standards will set the benchmark for product rules the world over. At a meeting of joint EU-US Transatlantic Economic Council (Tec) on Friday (17 December) described as “fantastic” by American officials, the two sides backed a plan to try to seek common recognition for each others’ standards in new areas of product development, from nanotechnology to electric cars.

The two sides are to develop an ‘early warning system’ in which both Brussels and Washington will be made aware of new regulatory moves “upstream” in the pipeline, particularly when it comes to new technology products so as to leverage the power of the world’s two biggest markets to shepherd regulation and standard development elsewhere on the planet. The two sides also backed “a science-based approach” to new technology regulation, saying that limits on product deployment should be based on “risk assessment” rather than “hazard assessment”.

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