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First meeting of the EU/US Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (Washington, 25-26 September 1998)

The European Union (EU) and the United States of America (US) are launching the first Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue. On 25 and 26 September 1998, around 60 representatives from EU and US consumer organisations as well as officials will meet in Washington for the inauguration meeting. They will identify consumer issues of common concern which they would like to address in the future, such as product safety, food safety, drug safety, utility restructuring, financial services, electronic commerce, product labelling, etc. The Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue is intended as a counterweight to the Transatlantic Business Dialogue. The EU-US summit of 18th May 1998 in London had called for its setting-up. It is also an element of the New Transatlantic Agenda which was signed by US President Bill Clinton, European Commission President Jacques Santer, and Council President Tony Blair in December 1997. Regular meetings from now on should provide a forum for EU and US organisations to share ideas and develop common approaches for advancing consumer interests. A follow-up event is already foreseen in Brussels in 1999.

Released on 25/9/98

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