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Cooperating with Governments

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The European Commission cooperates with governments around the world to reduce barriers to trade and investment, to help European business gain better access to markets and to improve the business environment in developing economies.

Dialogues on regulatory policy, as well as specific dialogues in areas such as automotive safety and chemicals, are held at technical level. They are aimed at finding ways of reducing the costs arising from differences in regulations, for example by basing regulations on common standards, or mutually recognising the results of conformity assessment procedures.

Regulatory convergence, or even harmonisation, of regulations already in place, is a difficult target to achieve, and the Commission consults stakeholders about priorities. More progress can be expected in new areas of regulation, where upstream coordination can prevent barriers from arising.

The EU's principal partners for regulatory and industrial policy dialogues are Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Russia and the USA.

In addition to these bilateral dialogues with foreign governments, the many industrial sectors of DG Enterprise and Industry also participate in a variety of multilateral bodies such as the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the OECD, Codex Alimentarius and the WTO (Technical Barriers to Trade Committee) to promote global approaches to regulation which ensure high levels of protection for people and the environment.

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